Beer Is Good – Sierra Nevada 2009 Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale

bigfoot_frontbigfoot_colorBarleywines are strong ales with origins tracing back to 19th century England. They have generally higher alcohol contents than standard ales. The convoluted rules of the US BATFE require that barleywines sold in the USDM be labeled as “barleywine-style ales” since consumers would be confused by the word “wine” and think grapes were somehow involved. The color of this example is a dark honey amber. To go with this appearance, the aroma is slightly smoky with a hint of passionfruit. The flavor also reflects these attributes. The initial taste is on the sweet, fruity side from the hopping. There is a thick, smoky, molasses quality that fills the mouth in the middle, fading to a bitter finish. If you’ve ever experienced a Sam Adams Triple Bock, this has a similar flavor, but it is nowhere near as syrupy.

As the name intimates, the flavors of this ale are deep, refined, and multi-layered like fine wines. The richness of this particular barleywine is outstanding. The strong flavor would probably frighten away a “beer beginner”, but an experienced beer lover will appreciate the many facets of this complex beer.  The alcohol content is nearly twice that of a normal beer, so if you are generous, you can share this with a friend, or keep it to yourself and get twice as drunk!  Bigfoot like!

Recommended for beer lovers

9.6% ABV

Four out of four drunken monkeys


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