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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
240 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
240
Ratings:
1,254
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
9.88%
 
 
Wants:
181
Gots:
631
For Trade:
76
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 240 | Ratings: 1,254
Photo of gandres
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

4 pack from Costco, 22 ounce bottle poured to wine glass
Sight: Brown hazy liquid, dark tan foam, quickly disappears
Smell: aroma of grains
Taste: low bitterness, hint of sweetness
Aroma: long finish, alcohol comes out
Overall: very good beer, ok to repeat but not look for
Drank: 9/22/2016 8:33 PM

 301 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Type: 24-oz. bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter glass
From: Costco in Goleta (Santa Barbara), Calif.
Price: $7.50 ($30 for a High Altitude variety 4-pack)
Purchased: May 29, 2016
Consumed: Aug. 5, 2016
Reviewed as: American Barleywine
Misc.: Packaged on March 29, 2016 at 10:12 a.m. PT; ABV is actually 11.6 pct.

This was the crown jewel out of the four I got from the high altitude four-pack for $30 at Costco, down from a previous price I saw for $40 at Barons. Would be extremely disappointed if this wasn’t the best of the four I tried. Gave the non-BA version a 4.30.

Poured a light brown, clear color with two fingers of frothy, khaki head. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Good spotty lacing. Very good retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled bourbon, chocolate, oaky wood, tobacco, fig, vanilla, maple syrup, sugary caramel and toffee. (Smell - 4.25)

A bit hot on the tongue initially. Also got boozy bourbon, oaky wood, vanilla, earthy tobacco, fig, caramel, dry maple syrup, toasted toffee and unknown hops. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, woody, warming finish. (Feel - 4.00)

This was good, but not as good as I thought it would be. I prefer the base version more. NOTE: Digging it more two days later. Jumped it from a 4.00 to a 4.25. (Overall - 4.25)

4.13 | 92 | A-

 1,361 characters

Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a variety 4-pack 24 oz. bottle $29.99 Costco
Dark brown amber color
Heavy mouth feel
Medium carbonation
Strong bourbon characteristics, definitely a beer to be sipped to be enjoyed. A beer to be shared because drinking it all yourself might be a bit too much due to its strong flavors. Glad to try it once, probably not again for a long while.

 354 characters

Photo of neenerzig
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to get 2 bottles of the 2015 edition of this beer. Cracked one open tonight. Poured into my snifter glass, this beer pours a clear, dark amber color with bright ruby highlights when held up to the light. Has a slightly off-white, tan head that's about an inch thick when poured that settles a thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with a big cluster swirl of a film layer of foam that covers about half the beer's surface. Decent lacing. Aromas of tasted caramel malts, toffee, vanilla, and hints of dates and figs along with a nice oaked, bourbon booze smell. The taste is pretty much the same, with nicely toasted caramel malt sweetness that gives way to a nice vanilla and toffee presence followed by a wonderful oaked bourbon presence that provides a bit of a burn that gives way to the aforementioned dates and figs. All of this is rounded out with a slight earthy and floral hop presence. Has a fairly crisp and prickly, also smooth, slightly chewy and sticky, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a decently smooth, clean finish. Dangerously drinkable for a beer with this beer's ABV %. A real winner here for sure!

Eric

 1,186 characters

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

Pours a clear rich plum-burgundy with a thick khaki head. Head retention is moderate, with no lacing left behind. It is a shade darker, and also clearer, than regular Big Foot. The Big Foot Barleywine carries notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, and toasted and nutty malts. The barrel aged version adds in notes of oak, bourbon, and alcohol, which are almost overwhelming. It certainly smells much heavier than the base beer. A sip of this barrel aged barleywine opens up a huge complexity of flavors, with oak, and bourbon opening it up. While the aroma's bourbon has a bit of a burn, the taste is smooth and well balanced. Notes of caramel, toffee, and nutty malt back up the rounded barrel aged opening. Mouth feel is bubbly, with a little bit of a sting, but otherwise nice. It has a medium to medium-full consistency depending on serving temperature. Overall, it's a sublime barleywine, but it certainly carries a lot more weight and complexity than its non-barrel aged brother. It's complexities are well managed and flavorful though.

Served in a 12oz snifter. Drinking side-by-side with 2016 Big Foot.

 1,112 characters

Photo of PerfecTool
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the brewery in NC. This is a very unique beer. Barley wines in general are pretty unique for me, but adding the bourbon flavor really adds some complexity. It's rather boozy but goes down smooth. One of the best tasting beers I've ever had.

 254 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours clear and dark amber in color with a sandstone, bubbly two-finger width head with fair retention, dissipating to a thin, mostly broken layers of suds across the surface. No notable lacing.

Smell - Sweet. Caramel, lots of oak, a hint of vanilla and a quite a bit of bourbon booziness once it warms.

Taste - Follows the nose. Loads of caramel and sweet oaky flavors with subtle vanilla. Some earthy, leafy hop character. Deeper oak notes and bourbon carries through in the finish, along with the aforementioned flavors.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Fair smoothness with a dry finish.

Overall - Smoother and a bit sweeter than the regular Bigfoot, especially considering the relative age. That said, it's not worth the price. Definitely better as it hits room temperature. Not sure I'd drop $20 on a single bottle, but $30 for that 4-pack variety they had at Costco might make me stop and pause for a moment.

 950 characters

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

2015, cellared for approx. 6+ months.

Murky rust looking with an off white, slightly creamy head.

Aroma: whisky, vanilla, oak, caramel, dark fruits, mild boozy factor.

Taste: i get moderate bitter hops and oak up front, sweet malt, vanilla, whisky aftertaste. Boozy bite at the end.

 287 characters

Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy dark mahogany color with deep amber/copper colored edges and a two finger off-white head that quickly settles. Decent retention lasting most of the way through with sporadic streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet and boozy aroma with prominent complex barrel characteristics nicely integrated into the earthy hops, leathery malt and vinous fruit notes of the base beer. Very nice barrel presence with charred oak, sweet spirit, toasted coconut, mallow and silky vanilla bean. Very complex, not just generic booze/whiskey. Underneath, there's subtle grassy hop resins along with burnt sugar, caramel, toffee and vinous sweetness. Hints of fig, date, raisin and plum. Smells really good.

Medium body and slightly oily/viscous with strong barrel character that's very nicely integrated into the base. Similar to the aroma but not quite as impressive. Oak and spicy whiskey is stronger than expected and the silky, luscious coconut and vanilla/mallow notes found in the nose are pretty subtle. Still, this beer is complex and enjoyable especially if you like quality whiskey flavor in your BA beers. Plenty of spirit flavor and boozy sweetness but there's little to no heat. Complexity makes it a bit of a sipper but it's surprisingly easy to drink at 12.2%. Thankfully the barrel is well integrated without obliterating the flavors of the base. Dry bitter resins up front with grassy pine and sticky buds quickly countered by sweet caramel malt, toffee, light chocolate, burnt sugar, shaved coconut and vinous sweetness. Lots of dark fruit with plum, grape, currant, date, fig and raisin. Slightly earthy and leathery with a faint tobacco presence complimenting the hops and balancing the sweetness. Overall, a flavorful complex beer that's well balanced and easy to drink.

 1,805 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, 2015 vintage, 11.9% ABV. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a murky brownish/ruby red color with about an inch light tan head that stayed around for a very long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit, toffee, oak and a bit of chocolate. However, the taste isn't as nice as the aroma. There's an unpleasant medicinal bitter flavor that luckily weakened somewhat the longer I drank it, along with some dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar and booziness noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's syrupy and has a decent amount of carbonation. I didn't have any problem finishing the bottle, but I didn't like that medicinal flavor in this brew at all. At $19.99 a bottle I'll pass on this in the future at that price. I'll just stick with regular Bigfoot instead.

 855 characters

Photo of Givemebeer
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Bigfoot: Cellared for over 1 year

Look: Beautiful beer. Deep amber ruby colored and clear. Nice lacing. Oozes class.

S: Figs, prunes, plums, and as stated on the bottle raisins coconut and vanilla also present. Good strong complex aroma.

T: Oh this is a bit boozy. Not too boozy - reminds you that this one is definitely a sipper. The balance is pretty incredible on this one. Dark fruits lead off on the palate before shifting to the barrel qualities. The alcohol comes through at the end leaving a warming feeling.

M: Full bodied and tamed carbonation.

O: One classy sipper from Sierra Nevada. Beautiful bottle and as expected fine product inside the bottle as well. Happy to have bought this rather expensive beer and cellared it for a year.

 763 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a sipper if there ever was one. I was expecting a big huge boozy beer. Although you have take it easy with this one, it's truly a well put together barley wine. Big on malt, hops and bourbon. Very warming and smooth. Wish I had another bottle of this for sure.

 268 characters

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

'14 version on tap at Brouwers.

Just has the '16 non-BA version last week. Don't have them side by side but similar appearance by memory. Smell is sweeter, still some hops but more caramel. Taste is balanced but still strong hop presence. Surprising for a 2 year old brew. Subtle whiskey and noticeable booziness. Caramel and strong lingering bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is thicker than the original but on the medium low end for BA beers. Very pleasant and not heavy though which adds to drinkability.

Overall I like it a lot and the barrel aging compliments the base beer quite well.

 603 characters

Photo of rajendra82
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of the beer was significantly murkier than the regular Bigfoot, with a brown color starting to look like a mix between a Barleywine and a Dubbel. The head was two fingers thick, and extremely long lived. The aroma was not hop laden like the Bigfoot I remember. Instead of the hop assault, there was a smell of raisins, mixed with vanilla, honey, and toffee. The taste was a parade of dark malt flavors like fig, dark cherry, brown sugar, and caramel. The wood tannins were also strongly present, in the form of vanilla, charred oak, and cinnamon. The hops were far less prominent than regular Bigfoot, but provided a subtle bitterness and spice mid palette onward. The finish was quite dry due to the combination of tannic acids and lingering hops. This was a serious beer that requires slow sipping. It showed off the barrel aging very well. I prefer regular Bigfoot to this, as it is much more lively to me.

 934 characters

Photo of K-Dog
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 328 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Taste strongly contains charred oak with a generous (but not overwhelming) dose of whisky. Burnt caramel, sweet malt, coconut and a somewhat bitter finish Nose is very nice, burnt toffee and brown sugar. Nice stuff, though the burnt wood flavours are a bit strong.

 264 characters

Photo of Moose90
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a dark ruby hued brown into the glass. A late forming dark brown colored head forms and leaves behind some oily spots of lacing with each sip.

S — Smell is incredible, bouquet of dark fruit, plums, figs, dates, raisins, balanced with a semi-sweet vanilla, Bourbon, oak, cinnamon, and bitter chocolate note, slightly warming.

T — Taste is deep and rich with notes of leather, tobacco, cinnamon, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, rich and sweet, lightly boozy.

M — Full-bodied, rich, cloying almost, heavy, but that comes with the territory with a beer of this stature.

O — Very good overall, just what you would expect it to be, take a solid beer, throw it in Bourbon barrels, what could go wrong? Nothing, this is quite nice.

 804 characters

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.

 437 characters

Photo of jwhancher
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at SN's taproom in Berkeley awhile back. Poured into snifter for review.

Smells awesome with prominent bourbon, vanilla, wood character. Some peppery spice and some faint hops. A lot of vanilla throughout, maybe a tad bit of cocoa.

Tastes sweet with layers of caramel, vanilla, and sweet candy sweetness. Ample bitterness from keeping this beer from being too overly sweet. Definitely a full bodied beer. Alcohol heat is well in check.

Overall, glad to have picked this one up. Would gladly pick another up again.

 538 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown to amber in color. A fingernail of beige surrounds the rim and half of the middle. The aroma is of sweet whiskey and loads of dark malt. The taste is heavy on the dark malt and aggressive with sweet whiskey. The mouth is dry and warm with alcohol.

 262 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rusty orange body with a bubbly off-white head. Aromas of wood, booze, caramel malt, sweet fruity esters. Super woody. Rain water and wood. Earthy and boozy. Pretty sweet and finishing dry. Pretty good, though not my thing. If you're a fan of sweet, malty barleywines, you'd likely enjoy this.

 293 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark ice tea coloring, dense nature, aged parchament toned head is one finger high. A good steady pace of effervesce along the vessel walls. The head is very well lasting, an unusual feat per style and high abv%. Things finish out with an equally good amount of smoothering on the vessel of lace.

S: Sweet caramel-honey malt with a strong whiskey influence. Spicy pine, raisiny spicing, with a a strength that was initially good and strong with a decent duration. Sugary rum toasted grains and coconut rounds things out.

T: The flavor showed a very strong whiskey malt flavor, spicy raisiny specialty grains, with some resinous pine. Gentle warming of alcohol, oaky-vanilla tones and coconut. Dry sense of whiskey alcohol lingers long on the finish with spicy toast and oaky barrel woodiness.

M: Malty lush body, warming and spicy with a dry bourbon sense on the inner cheeks. Some generally good signs of carbonation exist on the tongues.

O: The years long aging process shows some hearty results of the whiskey barrel influence, Spicy with some oaky-vanilla. The original bigfoot is big, boozy and sweet, this is a bit more dry and boozy. Outstanding drink, had this new years eve. worthy try and repurchase. Good drinking experience. recommend.

 1,258 characters

Photo of Auraan
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a gorgeous cloudy reddish brown body with a light ring of tan head. Overall impression of appearance is of a nice barleywine, true to form. Scents of whiskey upfront, at high levels, with light hints of oak and vanilla giving way to a malty overall profile imparting rich aromas of brown sugar, toasted coconut, toasty aromas and breadcrust on the finish with warming alcohol present throughout and very light resinous hops and oak. Overall impression of aroma is quite different from standard Bigfoot, the usual resinous and citrusy Northwest coast hops are almost entirely absent, and the malt now takes a larger role, giving a rich aroma with a pleasant character imparted by the barrel-aging. Rich, malty and warming are the best descriptors of the aroma, a marked departure from the base beer that is quite nice. Flavor begins malty with medium-high sweetness imparting notes of brown sugar, molasses, raisin, light vanilla and toasted coconut and balancing notes of whiskey and charred oak barrel, along with battering hops, to keep the malt front from being cloying. Middle gains bitterness, imparting notes of charred oak barrel, oak, whiskey, roasted malt and bitter, piney hops (at low levels) though it avoids becoming overwhelming due to a still hefty malt presence imparting notes of caramel and bread crust, with notes of toasted coconut also present. Finish is bitter, with warming alcohol, whiskey, oak barrel and the residual resinous hops coming to the fore, backed by some roasty malt flavors along with supporting flavors of vanilla, raisin, brown sugar, toasted coconut and toasted malt. Aftertaste is bitter hop-derived flavors, whiskey and charred oak barrel. Overall impression of flavor is of a fantastic aged Barleywine. The usual hops of Bigfoot have given way to the malt and barrel character and the result is a fantastically deep beer that is rich, malty, bitter, sweet and boozy. Fantastic. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a smooth, velvet feel, low carbonation and a moderate alcohol warmth. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a fantastic Barleywine. Overall this is an amazing beer. It takes the base Bigfoot, mellows the hops, brings out the malt and adds an amazingly rich character from the barrel-aging. The result is a rich and complex aroma and flavor that are aided by the suburb mouthfeel. A truly fantastic beer.

 2,362 characters

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

2014 vintage
Pours a dark reddish-brown with an off-white head that sticks around.
Complex nose on this one: whiskey, toffee, dark fruit, vanilla, coffee, char, a hint of leather and pine.
Taste follows with lots going on: Caramel and toffee, dark fruit, booze, char, vanilla, a hint of leather and a bitter and piney finish. A bit of roast coffee as it warms.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
Overall, still a bit hot but very tasty.

 436 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: brown, copper, reddish with white frothy foam half finger of head.
S: sweetness, alcohol, fruity sweetness, some barrel notes
T: lacking sweetness and barrel notes. I get medicine flavors. This is more bitter than sweet, and it finishes with dry alcohol.
F:thin, but coating, goes down easy.
O: not going to get drink this again, and that includes the rest of this bomber. Bummer

 385 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 1,254 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!