Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Location: Chico, CA
Name: Bigfoot Ale
Type: American Barleywine
ABV: 9.6%
Purchased from: Grape & Gourmet, Va Beach
Price: $2.50

There are some things out there. Some things that can't actually be proven to exist. Sure, there are "eyewitness" accounts and testimonies that have more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. But really, it's harder to prove that some things exist than to prove that they don't exist. Right? Something like that. The thing talk has gotten out of control. Anyway. Bigfoot, folks! This is a good looking beer. It pours an irresistibly rich ruby red that flirts with seeming almost chestnut in color. The head is massive. Bighead would be a good name for this beer but it doesn't sound as epic as a monkeymanbeast lumbering through the woods. Easily noticed from space, the head is thick and cream colored. It does a pretty good job of hiding the bouquet from you but once it starts to recede: gametime. Pine and grapefruit represent the hop contingent. Directly behind them you get the mouthwatering notes of tart cherries. The deeper you draw the more pronounced the alcohol becomes but you've got to really work at it. Sierra Nevada knows what's up and leaves it's alcohol behemoth lurking behind the savory notes of hops and sweet scents of succulent malt. The first thing you will notice is how velvety smooth this beer is. The carbonation is just enough to give it a little pep but it needs no more. The grapefruit and pine flavors swirl together nicely creating a familiarly unctuous and resinful (I'm pretty sure it means "full of resin") hopsplosion all up in your grill. The sweetness of the malt postures nicely and compliments the aggressive hop characteristics of the flavor profile well. In fact, the sweetness is a pretty nice blend of English toffee and honey. And then there's the alcohol. If you let this sit too long before swallowing you'll get hit with the booze pretty hard. The stickiness of my lips reminds me that this is a malt and alcohol driven beer. The better part about Bigfoot is its prominent hops presence. It could have easily gone down the route of sickeningly sweet but instead it passed that road and took a detour through hopsylvania. Whatever. I like this beer. Not only is it delicious, it's also fairly priced! This year is a great year to start with your Bigfoot obsession. And you can do like I do...text your friends with "Bigfoot sightings" when you first run across this barleywine every year.

Two hops puns? Don't care. It was worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen this beer from them. But I need to find it. Haven't tasted a bad beer from them yet.