Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine 2015: Brewed in Chico, CA, this is a Barleywine that they have been brewing since 1983, which was pretty brave for a microbrewery back in the day. One of the more readily available Barleywines, Bigfoot is brewed to a strength of 9.6% abv with 90 IBUs of Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops in order to add some west coast flair to an old English style of beer.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a ruby amber colour with some noticeable bubbles on the side of the glass that rise up to form two fingers of foam. The aroma is toffee, currants, maraschino cherries, booze, brown sugar and hints of tangerine.
Flavour: Toffee and dark cherries dominate the front of the beer while the middle is characterized by harsh booze accompanied by some caramel sweetness. It finishes with loads and loads of earthy bitter hops and more booze.
Overall Impression: A young Barleywine that is fairly harsh and boozy, give it time to develop or build a vertical.
Rating: I gave it a very good rating of 7.5/10, near room temperature it was quite nice. I have a high tolerance for harsh, boozy Barleywines so that didn’t bother me too much either, but it will get better in a couple of years.
Food Pairing: They suggest pungent cheese and I agree, the stinkier it is, the better it will stand up to a beer like this.
These are monster beers that ferment like crazy, as a beer fan you have to watch this time lapse of the open fermentation of their Big Foot Barleywine, it is fascinating!