Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: Sierra Nevada 2011 Bigfoot Barleywine

Okay, time for a quick review of the 2011 Bigfoot Barleywine from one of the craft brewing standard-bearers, Sierra Nevada.  Established in 1980, Sierra Nevada (@sierranevada) is one of the oldest and now largest craft breweries in the United States.  They typically brew very hop-forward beers which is typical of a California brewery.  I've mentioned them several times on here, including reviews of their 30th Anniversary Grand Cru and 30th Anniversary Barleywine. I picked up a 6-pack of these guys from Cuban Liquor on Perkins, but any good beer store should have it if it's still in stock.
For this review, I have the 2011 version of their Bigfoot Barleywine, poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Homer Brewing goblet.  It's a reddish orange color, like a bright sunset with a small white head. Good retention and creamy pooling on top of the beer.

The aroma is pretty weak though, mostly faint hops with a little spice to it.  The taste is mostly hoppy, befitting a Sierra Nevada brew. It's primarily piney but there is a subtle sweet floral hint to it. The malts are pretty faint but there. Barely.

The mouthfeel is about as expected, with a bitter hoppy aftertaste. I like it, but it's too hoppy for my kind of barleywine. I'm excited to save a few for aging and see how the hop-forward brew ages.  I expect it to mellow out a good bit and only get better.
My Rating: B-