Brewsday: Sierra Nevada BigFoot

Beer: Sierra Nevada BigFoot(2015)- 9.6 ABV

Appearance: By looks alone, this beer is a sure-fire winner. It is simply beautiful. Sierra Nevada’s BigFoot is a dark red or amber as some would say. While being packed with yeast and malt it is amazingly clear. The beer is a testament to successful brewing practices. As I watch the carbonation gently rise to the surface of my glass, I am reminded of a lava lamp. The beers translucent tranquility is fitting for a big beer that is sipped slowly and appreciated with careful thought. 5

Smell: This one was rather tricky for me. I do not have the most trained nose when it comes to beer. I can detect standards like stone fruits, vanilla, bourbon and usually hops, but I found the smell lacking on this beer. Other reviews talk about a bold nose with citrus and fruity hops but I found the nose to be rather faint. The alcohol aroma was much stronger than the faint smell of hops. I will say that the smell was clean and that there wasn’t any foul odors. But I came in expecting something that just wasn’t there. 3.5

Taste: One word? Awesome. More words? Kind of sweet, similar to Lagunita’s Brown Shugga, which I recently finished a 6-pack. The appearance doesn’t lie, you will be drinking a very well made beer. The sweetness is just at that perfect level. It’s not so sweet that its overbearing. I recently tried Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee stout and found that to be too sweet. Instead the sweetness of BigFoot matches its namesake. Its gentle to a point, like the BigFoot of lore, but it packs a good deal of hop flavor and alcohol which represents his strength.  The aftertaste carries the majority of the hop flavor. The hops are citrusy and fruity even though they weren’t apparent in the nose. It would be cool if they were more piney to further match the BigFoot analogy but then again I don’t really like piney hops so I shouldn’t complain. The beer could almost pass as a DIPA. For the money I spent, I honestly couldn’t have expected a better taste. 5

Mouthfeel: It is a little thin but it works. The carbonation level is low but that’s not a bad thing in this instance. There is a sticky aftertaste that is pleasant and warming in a snuggly blanket kind of way. I dunno, Its thin upfront but lingers thick. Imagine the first sip is light and easy but as you actually drink it and return for a second sip it feels thicker. 4.5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5. This is a really good beer. It is complex and changes as you drink it. I’m drinking it as i write this and I am finding piney aftertastes that weren’t there before. The alcohol level is lower than I expected for a barleywine but as I sip I can’t picture how I was ever able to enjoy those 11%+ barleywines in the past.