Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine 2010

Every year Sierra Nevada releases Bigfoot Ale, a Barleywine that they ferment in traditional open fermenters.  Here is a link to a video showing the fermentation of Bigfoot in those open fermenters from the 2009 batch.
Like most beer drinkers in and around California, Sierra Nevada gave me a lot of my firsts.  My first brewery tour, my first beer sampler, and of course my first Barleywine.  Thinking about my initial experience with the Bigfoot, I start to shutter.  When I was young my beer experience was mostly Coors and Bud and the occasional Sierra Nevada Pale Ale if I could afford it.   The first time I drank a bottle was when my friend picked up a six pack and thought it would be fun to split, WRONG. Going from Coors to this was a really bad idea, and I never really worked to hard to relive this horrible moment. 

Well many years and many beers later I am back on the Bigfoot wagon and can happily say that now I can appreciate a Barleywine.  I have had a number of Bigfoot Ale's since my first experience and it's fun to see how much things have changed over the years.

Bigfoot pours out hazy dark amber and I don't usually notice lacing, but this this beer had quite a bit (served in my Burger King Return of the Jedi glass.)
Aroma: toffee, caramel, good hoppy nose, and a hint of alcohol.
Taste:  good malt sweetness, toffee, surprisingly a lot of fruity esters with hints of raspberry, great grassy hop bitterness that lingers on the back of your tongue and finishes a little hot.
Mouthfeel:  medium to High carbonation with a nice medium body, very drinkable considering the ABV.

Overall:  Superb beer.  I guess they have had a couple years to perfect it and it shows.  I know a lot of beer drinkers may be a little hesitant in trying a barlywine because they aren't for everyone, but Bigfoot is a great intro to this amazing style.  So I suggest you grab a six pack at BevMo and keep a couple to cellar for a couple years and see how it matures. 

1 comment: