Much like wine, the craft beer world is becoming increasingly fixated on limited releases and rare vintages. The finite nature of these brews elevates the experience beyond where the ingredients and craftsmanship could take them on their own. The Barrel Aged Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale by Sierra Nevada is about as a rare as the furry beast-creature whose name it bears. Since the regular seasonal version just wasn’t enough to satiate our thirst for strange brews… the barrel aged 2015 vintage was the obvious answer.
Bigfoot pours a redish amber to dark ruby hue with a dense, beige head. The aroma has a strong presence of vanilla with oak and whiskey notes from the barrel aging. Dark fruit (figs and raisins) can also be detected on the nose. The overall aroma is hardy, earthy, and complex.
The flavor begins with sweet vanilla that progresses into tart black cherries and more dark fruit. Following the wine-like fruit characteristics are concentrated notes of whiskey and deep oak. This fades into a burnt-sugar sweetness followed by a bitter finish. This barleywine has a slight burn going down that should be familiar to bourbon drinkers. The flavors are complex and intense.
Sierra’s Barrel Aged Bigfoot Barleywine will not disappoint those willing to pay a premium for quality and rarity. For those patient enough to go the distance, this would be an excellent beer for cellaring. This beer pairs well with red meat, pungent cheese, or a fine cigar. Cheers to Sierra Nevada for an A+ sipper!
- Appearance: Dark Ruby, Cloudy Beige Head
- Aroma: Vanilla, Oak, Whiskey, Dark Fruit
- Flavor: Vanilla, Black Cherry, Raisin, Whiskey, Deep Oak, Burnt-Sugar, Bitter Finish
- Mouthfeel: Heavy Body, Smooth
- ABV: 11.9%
- Score: 91