Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 3279   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 90   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
Gold Medal Winner, Great American Beer Festival (Ales: Brown, Bitter and Pale 1987, Barleywine 1988,1992,1995). Sierra Nevada Bigfoot is an award winning example of the English Barley Wine style. It boasts a dense, fruity bouquet; an extremely rich, intense, bittersweet palate; and a deep, reddish-brown color. This ale is superbly balanced between an almost overpowering maltiness and a wonderfully bittersweet hoppiness.

Beginning Gravity:23 Plato
Finishing Hops:Cascade & Centennial
Dry Hops:Centennial, Cascade & Chinook
Bittering Hops: Chinook
Ending Gravity:6.0 Plato
Yeast:Top Fermenting Ale Yeast
Malts:Two-row Barley Malt, English Caramel Malt, Dextrin Malt

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeanDip (117) - Florida, USA - DEC 14, 2003
This was really something. Have to thank Fly for sharing this one with me - I in turn shared some with matta. That lovely Sierra Nevada signature all over it, but suped up a bit. Mingling aromas of citrus, caramel malt and sweetness. Creamy texture strikes a nice contrast to that hop bite. Rumor has it, there will be some available here in Febuary - will certainly have to pick up some for further evaluation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 9, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2005

2002 on tap:
Deep, deep red color with a Guinness-like light tan head. Dark, spicy fuit flavor with a spicy-bitter hop aftertaste. Medium-thick mouthfeel. Light fruity aroma. There’s the usual alcohol hit but it’s masked pretty well by a strong malty fruit flavor. A quality brew, and very drinkable!

2004 bottling:
Quite similar to the 2002, the hops are perhaps a little more sharp, which makes sense because I had the 2002 in 2003.

2005 bottling (sampled 2/1/05):
Primarly piney aroma with grapefruit rind tuck in behind it, superbly blended caramel/sugar cookie malt. Biting oily, piney hops in the flavor. Strong grapefruit hops tempered by plum and sugar cookie malt in the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jayb0 (1108) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - DEC 8, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2006 Latest: 98 vintage drunk March 2006. Bumping up the rating, This was fabulous. Everything below still applis but everthing was better integrated. Just great. ’99 vintage: This beer pours a thick dark red/brown and packs a big fruit/malt aroma. This beer has big malt and I think the bittersweet aspect is a little strong on the bitter. Leaves you with a slight unsweetened chocolate type bitterness. Aside from that it is nice and fat in the mouth with complex malt/hop interplay. If I had another I’d let it warm up a bit more.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nexxus (261) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - DEC 7, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2004 1998 on 2/8/04: Wow! Maybe I just wasn't understanding the '99, or in the right mood, but this '98 is excellent. Much more caramel than before - now the dominant flavor, the grapefruit is in the far background, and the pine has moved ahead of the grapefruit. Other flavors are now jumping out at me more than before, - like plum, orange, and some woody spice. Still the same great palate and appearance. The harsh astringency has all but disappeared.

1999 on 12/28/03: Roughly the same as below, with a little more caramel sweetness and a little less astringency. The change isn't enough to make me want to change my rating (3.8)

2001 on 12/6/03: Cloudy reddish amber with a thick lasting tan head. Very hoppy fruity aroma, loads of grapefruit with a hint of caramel and pine. Medium thick creamy palate that lightly coats the mouth with a nice alcohol warmth. Astringent. Very hoppy flavor filled with citrus, caramel, pine, and a little dark fruit. A little too hoppy for my tastes. A good beer regardless. (3.8)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SirTom (89) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 6, 2003
One of the better barley wines I have had. Doesn't taste too strong in alcohol, even though it is high in alcohol.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
carboloader (674) - Houston, Texas, USA - DEC 1, 2003
Pours a murky ruby brown with a small dissipating head. Aroma is wildly hoppy (which I like), with sweet caramel malt also dominating. Flavor is same but with a sweet syrupy finish. Several other flavors as well, but difficult to identify. A very complex beer. Nicely balanced for a barleywine. With such high alcohol, it doesn't take many of these to forget your name.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
OberonTheifEMT (56) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - NOV 30, 2003
Interesting pour, cloudy brown with a short lived head. Very syrupy. Aroma is heavy with caramel. Flavor is abundant with hazelnuts and malt. Very similar to other barley wines, though a very good brew

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
NateDawg (12) - Arlington, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 24, 2003
This is one of my favorite beers! Huge, and I mean HUGE amounts of hops dominate this beer, and the malt bill is impressive as well. This high-gravity elixir's lace clings to the glass while fruity earthy flavors greet your mouth. If a beer could be described as a multimedia experience, Bigfoot Ale is about as close as one can get!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 22, 2003
Very good though almost impossible to get in my neck of the woods. Poured with a very deep bronze color nice to look at. Nose was all about the hops(which is not uncommon for Sierras). Lots of fruit the sweetness and alcohol are well balanced by the hops. Would love to get some more. Stumble on this 98 vintage thanks to a dear friend who was visiting for the Holiday.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 7/20
Mumma (2) - Portage, Michigan, USA - NOV 19, 2003 does not count
They burnt the hell out of the hops on this one. I almost felt bad for buying a six-pack, but after 4 bottles of burning tires the last to weren't that bad. I was drunk after 6 beers and that was good enough for me.

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