Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sierra Nevada - 2011 Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

Purchased From: Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits
Serving Type: 12 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter

This year's Bigfoot Barleywine from Sierra Nevada marks another great special release from the California brewer. The beer pours a dark ruby body that borders on brown. The creamy, yellowed-tan head is very large with big oily bubbles. The retention on this beer is great and the lacing is solid for a high ABV brew. The nose is huge on hops that are both potent and piney. Underneath is a fruity sweet bouquet and mild alcoholic esters.

The beer is very rewarding with a crisp, but velvety mouthfeel. An initial taste from the refrigerator finds this beer quite sweet up front. A few minutes to warm (this is a beer best served at cellar temperature) and the sweetness is tempered by much greater depth and a pleasant floral character. The hoppiness is dry with Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial varieties. There's a mild heat that isn't outright alcoholic, but more like a spicy edge. The aftertaste is dry with a kiss of cherry sweetness.

Final Verdict: A-

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