Trip in the Woods: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vintage Bigfoot
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Trip in the Woods: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vintage BigfootTrip in the Woods: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vintage Bigfoot
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From:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Style:
Barleywine - American
Ranked #14
ABV:
12.1%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,603
Avg:
4.32 | pDev: 5.32%
Ratings:
81
Status:
Active
Rated:
Mar 09, 2022
Added:
Mar 27, 2019
Wants:
  4
Gots:
  3
SCORE
95
World-Class
Trip in the Woods: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vintage BigfootTrip in the Woods: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vintage Bigfoot
Notes: A combination of one-, two-, and three-year Kentucky bourbon barrel aged Bigfoot.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
4.29 by Dreyski from England on Mar 09, 2022
Photo of Benish
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Benish from Wisconsin

Poured a dark amber with a beige head. Knowing it’s Bigfoot, of course it tastes and smells like the classic American Barleywine. The hops seems to be a little less pronounced, or faded from the aging if you will. Smell and taste heavy dark fruits with hints of vanilla. Not much of bourbon but heavy oak and must at the finish. Overall very decent sipper, this is something I would return to regularly if it wasn’t for the large format bottles.

Jan 11, 2022
 
4.18 by shelby415 from Oregon on Jan 05, 2022
 
4.25 by j37geogaddi from Massachusetts on Dec 08, 2021
 
4.35 by steverx8 from England on Dec 03, 2021
 
4.35 by GClarkage from California on Nov 30, 2021
Photo of ovaltine
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by ovaltine from Indiana

Pours a gorgeous mahogany brown with the slightest hints of ruby on the edges, mostly clear body, and a rich, creamy tan head. The nose has the slightest hint of booze, a lot of oak, and loads of vanilla, caramel, and stone fruit. Wow.

The taste has all the notes mentioned for the nose, with the caramel and stone fruit (primarily plums) being most prominent, and there’s a delicious hop flavor that approaches pine that elevated this significantly for me. Truly a delicious BA barleywine.

The mouthfeel is a smidge on the thin side for a beer of this magnitude, but that doesn’t detract from the beer for me at all - it is a delicious, well-executed flavor ride. World-class stuff, IMHO.

Sep 12, 2021
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by TreyIsWilson from Michigan

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin off white head. Tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma Is raisins, toffee, oak and bourbon.

T - The taste is raisins, plums, caramel, vanilla, oak, piney hops and

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with soft finish.

O - Pretty awesome sipper. The alcohol is noticeable, but doesn’t detract from the enjoyment.

May 09, 2021
 
4.29 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota on Feb 15, 2021
Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

Absolutely fascinating beer. Surprised how mellow it is. One of the better beer labels I’ve encountered in terms of nailing the notes and components involved, though I picked up much less apple than other mentioned notes. Amazing dark fruit notes, brandy components, light chocolate, molasses, oak, fig, dark plum, wheat wine, doughy malt, tea leaf, tobacco leaf, and big toffee notes. The butteriness is sublime, but this one has Sierra Nevada written all over it in that nothing is huge or overly bold. Just a wonderful sipper.

Jan 18, 2021
 
4.25 by a77cj7 from South Dakota on Dec 13, 2020
Photo of hreb
3.88/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
by hreb from Washington

700mL (that's 1 pt. 9.4. fl. oz) cork-topped bottle of "Trip in the Woods: Vintage Bigfoot". Served in a stemmed wine glass. Deep ruby color approaching mahogany, nearly still, with a rich aroma of raisins and prunes. Very fine bubbles. The taste offers a lot of oak and strong booze. It doesn't burn, but it makes its presence known. After that initial onslaught of dark fruit and wood the rest of the beer is comparatively flaccid. The flavor profile is right on but I just don't think this has the complexity I'm looking for, and I think I might actually prefer the regular Barrel-Aged Bigfoot. To me it's like all of the massive malt bill has been reduced down to these small set of fruit notes, without leaving anything behind to taste bready, or nutty, or cocoa, or toasty. Which doesn't take anything away from the impressive feat of making a 12.1% ABV ale that's actually enjoyable to drink... it's just not outstanding.

Nov 28, 2020
Photo of Scotchboy
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Scotchboy from Idaho

A delicous corked & caged 750ml popped at a recent event. Dark, mostly clear brown color with a foamy & creamy off-khaki head and lacing; lots of dark fruit and raisins combined with a strong bourbon barrel character without being too hot; malt is prominent, with plenty of brown sugar and dark caramel, raisin, and whiskey; woody spicyness; bourbon barrel hits with presence but not too boozy at all; creamy, smooth body drinks lighter than 12%. Hops are completely diminished at this age, which is fine. Overall a delicious Bigfoot variant, leaning more towards an English barleywine at this stage.

Nov 22, 2020
 
4.43 by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois on Oct 25, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by stortore from Illinois

750 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 3/6/19, had 9/19/20.

Pours a mostly clear medium amber, with a one and a half inch foamy head and soapy lacing. Aromas of bourbon, caramel, tobacco, brown sugar, vanilla, raisins, oak, some plums, light char. Flavors of bourbon, caramel, malt, brown sugar, tobacco, plums, some leather and vanilla, some hop bitterness. Smooth, a very good medium body, well carbonated.

A little disappointed at first, it really grew on me as it warmed. Great barrels, the base beer is a little light for the style but good, there’s a nice profile of aromas and flavors. Very enjoyable.

Sep 29, 2020
 
4.5 by GregSemenza from Connecticut on Jul 06, 2020
Photo of Beersnake1
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Beersnake1 from California

Poured from fridge temp. Pours a nice golden brown with a good amount of light tan head. Nose is classic Bigfoot, but with a really nice vanilla and toffee theme pushing in. Really nice notes of red grapes, pine needles, and some nuts. The taste is fantastic. Hoppy bitterness upfront, but a really nice sweetness comes in with the bourbon barrels. Toffee, vanilla, raisins, wood, tree sap, leather, bread, and bourbon. Really nice and balanced. Mouthfeel is medium with a nice flavorful mouth coating.

Jun 22, 2020
 
4.5 by eawolff99 from Minnesota on May 10, 2020
 
4.23 by hockeypuck from Maine on May 03, 2020
 
4.08 by Dope from Massachusetts on Apr 18, 2020
 
4.2 by blackflag321 from Michigan on Apr 11, 2020
Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by titty_mcbitty from Tennessee

(2019 bottle)

A: This one pours a brick brown color with ruby tinges. The head is mocha-colored and fluffs for a second before disappearing.

S: Raisin, toffee, wet barrel, stone fruit. There's an old banana flavor as well.

T: Vanilla, raisin, brown sugar, and barrel are prominent here. That old banana flavor is present as well. As it warms, toffee, molasses, cream soda, and sherry show up. There's a faint floral flavor, presumably from OG Bigfoot.

M: Full-feeling and creamy. Very smooth for the given ABV. The cream soda and wood lie in the throat after a swallow.

O: This is a wonderful and interesting beer! It transforms over time and becomes more complex. The price is a little high, but what else can you ask for from a beaut like this? It's a mixture of one-, two-, and three-year Kentucky bourbon barrel-aged heaven.

Apr 01, 2020
Photo of TerryMills
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by TerryMills from Tennessee

Still could use some time or something.. Still kind of fresh and harsh for my liking..

Mar 15, 2020
 
4.35 by BalancingBrooms from Illinois on Mar 14, 2020
 
4 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia on Mar 02, 2020
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
3.16/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by Jugs_McGhee from Texas

BOTTLE courtesy of Josh - thanks! 750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cage over a cork. 2019 vintage.

Currently ranked #26 in the top American Barleywines beer list.

Served chilled into stemware.

12.1% ABV. "Ale aged in bourbon barrels." The bourbon that was in the barrel is not called out here, but it does offer that "a combination of one-, two-, and three-year Kentucky bourbon- barrel-aged Bigfoot" was utilized for this blend.

APPEARANCE: Head is off-white with no trace of khaki and fades quickly, succumbing to the 12.1% ABV within 30 seconds without leaving any lacing behind. No boozy "legs" form when I tilt the glass.

Body is a deep auburn...not the most vibrant or vivacious but translucent when backlit and aptly colored for the style.

It's not a standout appearance for a barleywine, but the poor head retention is understandable given the high ABV. No yeast/lees are visible at least in the first pour from the large format bottle.

Appears aptly carbonated. I note no obvious flaws.

AROMA: Heavy sweetness is present owed largely to its dominant notes of dark fruit. Date, prune, fig, molasses, raisin, plum. Has a sherry-like grape note as well. Subdued vanillin is noticeable, probably from the bourbon barrel/oak. Up front, I get brown sugar and bread crust but there's no toastiness, roast, or bitterness to its malt profile. I'd bet on heavy amber malts along with ample 2-row in terms of malt makeup.

The base beer doesn't get eclipsed by the bourbon barrel at least in terms of aroma, which is a nice way of saying the bourbon barrel aromatics are rather reticent...I don't pick up on any coconut, refined white oak, toasted wood, or even really barrel sugars, and the vanillin that's present isn't horribly evocative or rich. For a beer blended from barleywines aged 1-3 years in bourbon barrels, it's surprisingly lacking in terms of overt bourbon aromatics. I'm hoping it tastes more bourbon-forward than it smells...

I find no hop aromatics (true to style) nor any overt off-notes.

TASTE: Rich dark fruit injects ample sweetness up front with undertones of needed toasted malt and burnt sugar catching up in the middle of its flavour profile, though it still manages to finish sweet on notes of prune, raisin, and sherry-like grape/wine...I don't know why I get a sherry/wine flavour but I do. Maybe it's the barrel sugars? Wood tannins? I can't be sure.

As I feared, its bourbon character is barely present...don't expect rich vanillin, toasted white oak, coconut, or even whiskey warmth. I get some woodsy notes but they come across as depleted and aren't recognizably oak. I'd stop short of calling it cardboardy, but it does have that acetic sherry flavour and the seeds of staleness I'd associate with an overaged old ale or barleywine (and concomitant oxidization). Perhaps they aged this too long in barrels? Yet somehow the bourbon didn't take to the base beer.

Treacle, stonefruit, dates, depleted amber malt, neutral 2-row. Orange zest. Red apple skin. Seems underattenuated.

TEXTURE: A bit coarse, a bit dry, depleted, wilted, medium to heavy-bodied, well-carbonated, and fairly thick (though not so much as to make it chewy). Certainly a meal in a glass, but any 12.1% barleywine ought to be. It's rich and viscous, which makes it slow to drink. Acidic and slightly acetic, indicating this would start to take on vinegary notes with only a little aging in the bottle.

Not the delicate mouthfeel I'd expect in a top tier barleywine, and it could do with a softer texture.

OVERALL: Admittedly the appeal of Bigfoot (the base beer) has eluded me despite trying many vintages, but at a minimum I'd hoped this would bring rich bourbon barrel flavours to the table - particularly considering the age statement regarding its constituent Bigfoots (Bigfeet?).

This is a barleywine flirting with an old ale flavour profile, which wouldn't be a bad thing except that its dark fruit emphasis just doesn't work well for me coupled with its almost syrupy mouthfeel. I honestly doubt I'd peg this for bourbon barrel aged if I tried it in a blind taste test. It skimps on the leathery, caramel-redolent, toffee-driven flavours I look for in a great barleywine and fails to commit to bourbon barrel flavours, leaving it wanting to my palate.

It's certainly complex, and I find myself picking out more flavours (is that candied citrus peel? Clove? Licorice? Port?) as I get into my third glass, but despite its many flavours there aren't many I like or that work together in harmony to bring the beer together as a whole.

I'd say this would make for a nice dessert digestif after dinner in place of a Port wine, but taking down the bottle will prove something of a chore and despite its obvious complexity it just doesn't dazzle.

*I will say (four glasses in) that it does develop and improve as it comes to temperature, elevating its subtle orange/marmalade and apple fruit notes to good effect.

C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE

Jan 21, 2020
 
4.25 by adosen01 from Minnesota on Nov 28, 2019
 
4.32 by DMarlinJ from Michigan on Nov 23, 2019
Photo of oberon
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by oberon from North Carolina

Pours into a stemmed glass a deep rich amber with a creamy-like full finger khaki colored head atop that settles slowly into a frothy mass leaving a broken ring behind.A mix of dark fruit,vanilla,and toasted oak in the nose,the fruitiness really stands out,the bourbon/vanilla doesn't beat you over the head but it's presence is there for sure. a bit boozy on the palate but to expected,dark fruit,brown sugar,vanilla/bourbon,and toast make out most of the profile,not much of a hop profile.Some of the 'standard' Bigfoot is there and is familiar but the bells and whistles added are top notch.A great beer.

Nov 20, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by REVZEB from Illinois

Reddish brown opaque body with a finger of tan foam. Bourbon and oak lead both the smell and taste. The aromas focus more on the barrel character itself, with some barley, leather, dried candied orange, and rye accenting. Taste is robust in the oak especially, bourbon melds in with the sneaky high citrus hops, dark fruit, ash, leather, barley, molasses and toast. Despite high abv and barrel aging, booziness is kept artfully in check, allowing the wood tannin, barley, malt, and hop textures to play in the mouthfeel, best aspect of the beer hands down.

Nov 19, 2019
Photo of jrc1093
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jrc1093 from Connecticut

Bottled (presumably) on 3/6/19

Pours an incredibly deep but translucent blood red hue topped with two fingers of tight, pillowy tan foam; stunning retention holds steady throughout the drinking experience, leaving consistent lacing to comprehensively wall the glass while a thick, fluffy foam comprises the collar.

Aroma shows plenty of toffee, grapefruit pith, sugarplum, fig, and raw, resinous pine/evergreen upfront; laced with bourbon, the backing notes bring vanilla, spiced oak, and candied citrus peel; minimal booze presence lightly touches every aspect of the bouquet.

Taste features strong notes of plum, fig, vanilla, and spiced oak, with a lighter bourbon and heavily toasted caramel presence lingering into the mid-palate, where sugarplum gains deeper prominence; grapefruit zest laced with touches of booze mark the finish.

Mouthfeel has a moderate body, sharp with hints if booze and dryly crisp, with a pillowy moderate carbonation; creamy, vaguely syrupy hop bittering progresses smoothly against any booziness along the palate into an understatedly stiff but easy swallow.

An American barleywine that delivers in both the spirit of Sierra Nevada's expectedly understated depth and Bigfoot's boozy aggression; the milder barrel presence softens the edges and invites an approachable sipping experience. I can't say the bourbon presence is extensive enough to completely integrate with the intensity of the base's hop profile, but it's more suggestive influence is plenty to elevate the beer to a subtle refinement.

Nov 19, 2019
Photo of Beejay
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Beejay from Virginia

A: Dark brown in color, with a tan head.

S: Big caramel aroma, malty with notes of vanilla, plum, and brown sugar. Perhaps a touch of oxidation, but in that great aged barley wine smell.

T: Caramel, vanilla, and some booze in the finish melding with some earthy bitterness.

M: Medium thick in body moderate to slightly higher carbonation. Slight cling in the finish.

O: Pretty solid beer but the bitterness is just a hint too much, maybe aging it for a few more years would be interesting. Overall very interesting.

Nov 09, 2019
 
4.49 by QuakeAttack from California on Nov 04, 2019
 
4.44 by chillin from Indiana on Nov 02, 2019
Photo of arizcards
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by arizcards from North Carolina

Picked up a 750 ml bottle from TW Arrowhead on 8-12-19 for $19.99. Bottled on 3-6-19; consumed on 10-11-19.

Beer poured an amber brown with a beautiful off white head that has some good hang time.

Nose is bourbon forward with some vanilla and leather along with fig notes and citrus from the base beer.

Taste is in your face bourbon with notes of leather and vanilla. Base beer figs and citrus and pine hops blend in nicely. Finish is really well balanced between the sweet malts, hops, and bourbon.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied and very smooth.

Overall a delicious beer that blends nicely together the more you sip on it. Recommended for those that appreciate a boozy flavorful beer!

Oct 11, 2019
Photo of chinchill
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by chinchill from South Carolina

On tap at The Beer Station (SC).
Wonderful aroma with bourbon, bourbon barrels, caramel, and faint dried fruits - - although it is a bit more woody than optimal for me.
The flavor partially follows the aroma but with less wood and more bourbon.
Very good mix of bitter and sweet.
Smooth, full body with light carbonation and well hidden alcohol.

Oct 03, 2019
Photo of bobhits
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5
by bobhits from Kentucky

The more I get into whisky the more I find these grading systems weird and just flawed.

Look - beer? Ok jokes aside it's a deep amber, dirty, dense, heavy, thick. Lacing is there all be it minimal (I am drinking this in a whisky glass, it's bourbon barrel aged after all).

Smell - hops, aged leather, oak, and just this yeast and barely that have been sitting out and dried and became dusty. Then we have some nice sweet caramel and perhaps a hint of berry.

Taste - The hops have faded, they are still there but way back in the background. The sweetness gets tamed by some oak and also just that old/vintage beer effect where the beer starts to "fall apart" and gives way to these really unique and hard to place flavor elements. You can tell this has been cellared. To the just flavor notes. Toffee, butter scotch, medicinal cherry, oak, leather, cheese (I know weird), vanilla, a hint of vinegar, butter, and just sweet caramel malt.

Feel - creamy given a low (still ok) carbonation amount. Good texture for sure. Not special or exceptional.

Overall - this is darn good beer. I love the aged notes and all the weird and complex flavor notes I get.

Sep 28, 2019
Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by StraightNoChaser from Georgia

look: Clear bronze. Foamy beige head. Messy lingering lacing that I don't recall in the BA version.
smell: Vanilla, dark fruit, brown sugar, bourbon more muted than i expected given the long aging.
taste: Much like the nose up front. the finish has some of that piney hops I'm used to in BF, going from sweetish up front to mostly dry in the finish with a touch of spice.
overall: damn good barley and barrel treatment.

Sep 20, 2019
 
4 by jwat from Pennsylvania on Sep 19, 2019
Photo of DIM
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by DIM from Pennsylvania

I maintain that corks And cages are pretentious as hell, but at least this one was pretty easy to slide out. Curious to know the ratio of 1, 2, and 3 year barrel treatments. Damn, three years in the barrel?!?

Classic aged Bigfoot aromas of sharp toffee, and muddled pine needles are joined by oaky leather and tobacco. The bourbon itself is muted and mellow. I found raisins and port as well. So damn good I accidentally snorted some with my overly exuberant sniffing.

Tastes almost as good and I would use the same descriptors for the most part. The barrel character is less overt bourbon and more leather, tobacco, and raisin, though the spirit is a bit more noticeable on the tongue. My only minor quibble is a bit too much piney bitterness at the finish.

Overall, this is outfuckingstanding. I hope they consider putting similar releases in 4 packs in the future.

Sep 15, 2019
Trip in the Woods: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vintage Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 81 ratings