Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Style: Barleywine
ABV: 9.6%
Country: USA, California

This is actually my first barleywine and I'm rather surprised it has taken me this long to pick one up to try. Typically, barleywines are among the most potent of the styles. ABVs start at 8% and only go up. These beers are usually dark, full of complex flavors, and bitter. Sierra Nevada is a brewer I've had enjoyed in the past, so I figured this would be a good barleywine to start with.

Pour showed a color that was rich and reddish brown. It had a small, off-white head that reduced quickly but left a thick layer of lacing that hung around until the very end. A flavorful aroma was dominated by pine and citrus. First thing I noticed when sipping was the thick body. It was nearly syrup like in its thickness but felt silky smooth and creamy. Hops certianly dominated the flavor with a sticky pine flavor along with grapefruit citrus. Behind the hops were some hints of the malts, a bit of sweetness and toasted flavors. A massive wave of bitterness popped and lingered for a long time after the sips were finished. Some alcohol was noticeable in the finish which lent a nice warming spiciness that hung around while holding hands with the bitterness.

Overall, this beer drank like a slightly less hoppy Imperial IPA with a beefed up body. In other words, this was tasty. This would also be a good beer to cellar for a year or two to see how the alcohol flavors change and mellow. I'll probably end up buying a few more to do just that. A-

No comments:

Post a Comment