Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

American Barleywine Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.


Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, an American Barleywine by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale is an American Barleywine brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.


The Barleywine pours a clear ruby red and is topped by an inch-thick cap of frothy cream-colored foam that shows fair retention. Gobs of residue coat the sides of the glass during consumption. Soapy bubbles continuously top the ale.


The aroma is a mix of fresh hoppy pine, some caramel, and booze.


Biscuit malt leads the palate that sweetens in the middle with flavors of raisin and toffee. Pine and herbal hops finish off the tasting with a lingering bitterness; rounded out with sweet caramel and a hint of booze.


Its feel is smooth, slightly sticky, and finishes dryly with a moderate astringency. The body is a shade over medium and has less-than-moderate carbonation. Its high alcohol content lends warmth.


The Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale has a solid appearance and the aroma is pleasant and persistent. Its bitterness is a little harsh at first but once the beer warms its balance improves and becomes much more flavorful. A high ABV is managed well. Not quite as complex as the better Barleywines, but the 2018 Bigfoot is still a tasty treat.

Recommended Pairings

Sierra Nevada recommends the following food pairings with their Bigfoot Barleywine: bread Pudding, mission figs, Medjool dates, and pungent blue cheese.

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About the American Barleywine

The American Barleywine is based on the English Barleywine but is aggressively hopped. And it’s typically the strongest beer style a brewery will offer. The bitterness from the hops and high alcohol is evident in the aroma and palate with a bite that typically lingers long through the finish.