mtoast (336) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 21, 2002
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
FYI, rating done on cellared 2001 vintage, drinking this stuff fresh is a waste of time in my opinion. The flavors need time to mellow out and join in wholy beerimony.
NDmullet (208) - South Bend, Indiana, USA - FEB 21, 2002
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
2002 version. Big lasting head over a light mahogany body. Aroma is obviously full of bright, floral hops. You should know what you’re getting into with a Sierra Nevada, and the hops is definitely over the top. I sometimes think I can sense some subtle malt, but the oppressive hops presence slams the door shut. My only clue that this is a barley wine, other than the label, is the alcohol that kicks in near the end of the glass. Otherwise, I’d probably guess IPA. This is not a fantastic beer now, but I expect that it will mellow nicely, and improve significantly with age.
dins (266) - Texas, USA - FEB 20, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
nice hops. 2002 version.
Pablo McStouthead (69) - L.A, California, USA - FEB 16, 2002
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hoppy, citric, strong, good.
Andrew196 (1091) - Katy, Texas, USA - FEB 14, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Not a barleywine fan, but this one is decent, much better than St. Nicks. Nice floral aroma. I like the way the fruitiness transitions into the floral hoppy taste. The aftertaste lingers for a bit, but subtley goes away. I would not have guessed this beer to be above 8% alcohol based on taste. I would recommend if you DO like barleywines.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 14, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 25, 2004 Release 2004:
Well, my waiting is over, every year I wait with great anticipation for the new release of “Big Foot”, one of my top 3 barley wines, well the wait is over, got my first sampling of “Release 2004”.
The beer disembogues the bottle a somewhat hazy brown color, the head is moderate in size, frothy in its texture and the color a winsome light tan, as it evaporates, the lace forms a sealing curtain upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt, hints of the hop flower, a tad bit of fusel alcohol, citrus crisp and fresh, start is ambrosial; the malt a bit lean in my opinion, top is moderate in mouth feel. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops majestic in their spiciness, very dry aftertaste. Appears to me that this years batch is a bit light on the malt, a change I don’t like, still a fine beer, and maybe a bit of aging will help, for better or worse, I now have a case and one six pack in the cellar.
Release 2003: What can I say about this beer that I’ve not said many times before. Each year I wait for it to come out like waiting on a dear friend to come for a visit.
As it sets in my Sierra Nevada Pounder, it’s an unblurred mahogany color, the head temperate in size frothy in texture, the color a winsome light tan, and as it disappears the lace formed a silky sealing sheet, that welds itself to the glass. Nose is floral, slight traces of fusel alcohol, citrus crisp, fresh, as a spring morning, a real treat to the nose, start is sweet and thickly malt with a middling top. Finish surly in its hop spicy bite with the acidity bruising and the alcohol domineering, the aftertaste desert dry, somewhat bitter and long lasting. Love this beer and it only gets better with age just like “Olde Gusler”!
Release 2002: Pours a nice clear brown, beige head and nice lace. Nose is hop floral, malt under tones, and just maybe a hint of Alcohol. Front begins malt and slightly sweet, the meddle medium, the finish hop spicy, and the ABV is most certainly evident. Got a case, and going to start cellaring a 6 sixer or so.
PhillyBeer2112 (2473) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - FEB 13, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 8, 2006 2006 (fresh): Whoa! This seems wholly different this year, and I’m sure much has to do with the switch from Nugget for bittering to Chinook. The aroma is amazingly fruity, also soapy and floral. Classic red color remains. Malts seem more restrained, as an intense floral and resiny hop character attacks right out of the gate, with a near burning alpha acid. Strong bitter finish. A step bacward in both complexity and the classic Bigfoot drinkability.
2005 fresh: nothing quite like a fresh Bigfoot. The same nice red color, the large foaming webby head. Aroma piney, a little soapy this time around, some caramel malt. Flavor deep and satisfying: big rounded caramel body with a resiny somewhat grapefruity tingle all over. Intensely bitter finish, but pleasantly so.
I see I never rated the 2004 fresh, but I did have one at a year old just a couple of days ago: everything I like in the beer, hops faded just enough to rid this of its heavy resiny feel, and smooth it out. 1 year is good to this beer.
2003 Tasted fresh: Whoopee, Bigfoot is back and as good as ever. Rich piney/resiny hop aromatics, smooth velvety sweet malt (caramel, fruit) profile coupled with tingly hops and a bracingly bitter finish.
<P>Prev years notes:
I’m really amazed at the hop
presence in this beer. It comes across
nicely with a pleasant bitterness and
full nose of hops. Excellent lace lasts
the whole glass. Flavor is rich and
full-bodied and well-balanced. The high
alcohol content is barely noticeable.
Its the smoothest beer above 8% ABV that
I’ve ever had. <P>UPDATE: 2002 - same as always, ultra hoppy with quite a citric piney bite. I compared this fresh 2002 with a one year old bottle of 2001. I really prefer the one year old -the hops have softened but are still present and the malt comes through with warmth and depth, making it even smoother! Can’t wait to try it again in another year.
211Gramma99 (38) - Chico, California, USA - FEB 11, 2002
2.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 5/20
this beer is just way to syrupy for me. it is way strong and it is just to thick
fullers99 (7) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 10, 2002 does not count
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2000 version: Nose is not as hoppy, but has a nice fruity quality to it, pours thick and deep copper with signifcant carbonation evident, taste has an intense, resiny hop flavor that coats the tounge(kind of obliterates the malt presence as it warms up, but the malt do peek out from under the wall o’ hops) and finish is very dry as a result of the hoppy, high gravity nature of this beer. Those looking for more balance in their barleywines would find this brew over the top, but ageing will round out this beer some.
phoenixgoa99 (11) - California, USA - FEB 10, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
better than rasputins but just as strong