Bigfoot peak ages?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by xpimptastikx, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. xpimptastikx

    xpimptastikx Initiate (0) Oct 8, 2008 Texas

    I know Bigfoot has been around since the late 80s and people have been successfully cellaring this beer for quite sometime. Some barleywines gracefully age for decades and some can go through odd phases in aging, but then come back around to being damn tasty.

    So my question is, at what ages do you prefer your Bigfoot?
    Also, does Bigfoot go through any bad phases in it's aging?
  2. GoldenChild

    GoldenChild Pundit (843) Nov 18, 2009 Michigan

    I have a 2012 in my hand right now and I prefer it with some age on it at least a year.
  3. OddNotion

    OddNotion Pooh-Bah (1,853) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I am not a big fan of it fresh to be honest. I think 2 years has been my favorite and the oldest Ive had. I have some 09 10 11 left and want to see how they do in the future... really gotta get around to picking up the 12 come to think of it.
  4. Swuntly

    Swuntly Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2011 California

    Just had an 11 last night, and it was delicious. Not too it a fan of it fresh, but with a year there is a big, BIG difference. I have some '10 and '12 as well. I need to go get another sixer of '10.
  5. surlytheduff

    surlytheduff Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2010 Tajikistan

    I don't think there is a standard 'peak' ("individual tastes may vary"), all things considered bottle-kept-wise, but I do think there are common windows. Here's what I think they are. Note: these are my .02:

    Fresh-6/9 mos: Not much variance. Very hoppy.
    1 year-18 mos: Hops round off. Still has the taste of an American barleywine, but strikes nice balance with sweet malty flavors and bitterness
    2 yr - ~3.5 yr: muddled. Still American barleywine-esqe, but too far removed from AB/not sweet enough to showcase age
    4 -6yr: here comes the toffee/caramel. Nice interplay with remnant hops

    Beyond that, I have limited experience but I am certain in my belief that it continues to develop in a positive and interesting way.
    JohnnyTightLips and xpimptastikx like this.
  6. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2005 Connecticut

    The hops fade moving toward 5 years old. surprising how long the hops stay present. It all depends on how you like your Barleywines. This beer lasts 20 yrs or more.
  7. Crawfordesquire

    Crawfordesquire Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2011 North Carolina

    I think this beer is great with a year on it. I don't like the taste of BW's with more than 3 years, the toffeeish flavor borderlines on the diacetyl/buttery flavor (IMO) which I don't care for.
    So for me, ideal would be 18-27 months.
  8. flannelman808

    flannelman808 Pundit (929) Aug 21, 2006 California

    first let me tell you there is more to come on this subject as I've plans to purchase a deep cash dating back to the mid to early 90's+. That said I've spent the last two days comparing and 2011 and a 1998.

    No doubt in my mind that bigfoot is the best Sierra beer and in the upper echelon of its style, and stands the test of time. The 98 has very little to no carbonation but carries powerful aromatics. It shows more pine cone sap and less pine needle. Flavor character traits of bigfoot do not seem to go away within a 12 year period of time, instead they show up in different proportions. This stuff is great in it's own right, and at the very least despite the age, fresh or new, you have possibly the most bang for your buck ever.
  9. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    [​IMG], eh?
  10. afrokaze

    afrokaze Pooh-Bah (1,945) Jun 12, 2009 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I will be cracking a 10-11-12 vert tonight over some poker with buddies, I'll report back with some tasting notes!
  11. steebo777

    steebo777 Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2009 Michigan

    I think Bigfoot needs at least 4-5yrs before it evolves into an incredible barleywine.
  12. MileHighShooter

    MileHighShooter Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2010 Colorado

    Last year at an epic cellar emptying party, a vertical of 96-06 was produced. They hold up, they really, really do. The beers change quite drastically when sampled in that big of a range, but I can honestly say they are going to hold up as well as a Thomas Hardy's. Out of that range, I think 98 was my favorite. After about 5-6 years yes, the carbonation will be almost gone, but they develop so many other deep characteristics. It was really amazing to see the difference between all of them, going from very caramel, malty, thick and robust flavors to more hop forward and bubbly beers. Truly a beer that deserves buying 2 6ers every year for the intent of BIG vertical tastings.
  13. flannelman808

    flannelman808 Pundit (929) Aug 21, 2006 California

    haha, maybe so
    all the same though, this jam marinates for a good while.
  14. afrokaze

    afrokaze Pooh-Bah (1,945) Jun 12, 2009 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society

    As promised, I cracked open a 10-11-12 mini-vertical last night with some friends over poker.

    2010: Hops are still surprisingly forward, with a long piney hop burn after each sip. More vanilla has started to come out, along with toffee, tobacco and leathery notes. Alcohol is noticeably calmer. Smooth body, dangerously drinkable.

    2011: Loads of earthy and piney hops, caramel malt sweetness, more chocolate and coffee malt than 2010. Prickly mouthfeel and sticky finish. Less juicy than I remember it being fresh.

    2012: More juicy fruit and dank hops, sweet caramel malt, pine resin, hints of vanilla and some dark fruit, earthy spice. Creamy mouthfeel and seems less hot than 2011.

    The preferences were unanimously 2010, 2012, 2011, and this year's bottle was honestly almost as good as the 2010, but in a much more aggressive way.
    KevSal likes this.
  15. ewright

    ewright Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2007 North Carolina

    You can still buy 2010 off the shelf??? WHERE??!!
  16. Rollzroyce21

    Rollzroyce21 Pooh-Bah (2,211) Oct 24, 2009 California

    Last summer (2011), I got to try 2001 and 2003 vintages.

    I enjoyed the 8-yr old more than the 10-yr old cause the flavors were bolder but still balanced. The 10-yr old tasted muted flavors. Might've oxidized a bit.

    Both were much much better than fresh.
  17. wisrarebeer

    wisrarebeer Pooh-Bah (2,215) Jul 31, 2008 Wisconsin
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I have bottles dating back to the early-mid 1980s and they drink very well. More port and sherry-like. I actually haven't cracked a 1986 for several years but plan on doing that the next time the temps dip below 0F -- may be a long time coming but I'm patient...
    Axic10 likes this.
  18. GameFreac

    GameFreac Initiate (0) Apr 8, 2011 Georgia

    I saved 1 from my 2012 sixer and am gonna drink it in December. Glad to see it's good after a year.
  19. steebo777

    steebo777 Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2009 Michigan

    I wouldn't waste my time holding it for a year. It takes a solid 4 to change much with that beer. Give it 5 years and you'll be happy.
  20. GameFreac

    GameFreac Initiate (0) Apr 8, 2011 Georgia

    I just started aging beers and so far I only have 2 and I'm just gonna see how those do after a year. I don't really have optimal cellar conditions so I'm just doing it for fun right now to see how they change.
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