Producer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company; Chico, CA
Price Range: $15 / bottle (750 ml)
Appearance: Clear burgundy, foamy white head
Virginia Pour House Review: Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Ale is one of my favorite barleywines. So when I saw that they were releasing a barrel-aged version this year, I got excited. This is their big, bold seasonal barleywine aged in Kentucky whiskey casks for nearly a year. The beer pours a deep burgundy but is clear with a healthy white head that dissipates upon sitting. The aroma is faint, but some malt and dark fruit stands out. The first sip is big and bold. It attacks the palate with big bitter whiskey notes, with some bitter dark malt in the middle and a lingering overall bitterness. Subsequent sips aren’t quite as alarming and more of the flavor pops through. There’s a lot of whiskey flavor here, but also a nice balance of dark fruit flavor imparted by the malts and some subtle hoppiness. The beer mellows with each sip, especially as it warms. This beer is not for the faint of heart, but it is a very good barrel-aged barleywine.
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