Beer 374/365 – Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine (2008)

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine

Style: American Barleywine

ABV: 9.6%

Purchased at: Sent as winnings in a superbowl block poll.

What makes this beer different: The first aged barleywine I have ever tried, and it definitely mellows out the harshness.

Will I be drinking this again: Not sure i would be able to find any more vintage bigfoot’s but I would love to try another.

Grade: A-

1/4/2011: Almost a year ago I registered in a superbowl block poll on BeerAdvocate with 9 other people. It was the first time I tried anything like this, but I ended up winning. The losers all had to send at least 48oz of beer to the winner, but most sent more. That was a total of at least 432 oz of beer, or 36 12oz bottles. I got a ton of good rare stuff like the beer above, a 2006 Bourbon County stout, and others. I’m definitely going to register for this again this coming year.

The nose is semi-boozy, caramel, some spice, and some citrus as well. There are a ton of flavors going on here, and surprisingly hops are one of the dominant ones even after 2 years of age. To be honest if this was fresh the hops might have been a bit overwhelming. Sweet caramel malt, bitter citrus hops, and a nice bite from the alcohol. A bit of a orchard fruit type kick that I really can’t put my finger on. About average on the mouth-feel, but has a very long finish. One of the better American Barleywine’s I have had.

Picture of the day: Never use logic to argue with a girl.

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Beer 104/365 – Great Divide Old Ruffian

Style: Barleywine

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Imperial IPA meets Barleywine

Will I be drinking this again: Probably yes

Grade: B+

2/20/2010: So I am on a new mission to try as many of the top 100 beers on beeradvocate.com as possible. A good bit of them are fairly accessible, and reasonably priced, so I figure why not? Old Ruffian drops in at #87/100.

I am by no means a barleywine expert, so take this review with a grain of .. barley? One thing I can tell you is there was a pretty big hop presence to Old Ruffian, especially for the style. The smell is violent, very hoppy, caramel, and booze. The best way I can describe the taste is its a three headed monster of caramel malt, citrus hops and alcohol, but they are all in balance. The beer without a doubt got better as it warmed. Much more flavorful and balanced when it got closer to the 55 degree range. I still need to work on truly appreciating barleywines, but this was for sure one of the better ones I have had.

Picture of the day: Sometimes beer goggles make you laugh, but this would just make me want to cry.

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm  Comments (6)  
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Beer 73/365 – Victory Old Horizontal

Style: American Barleywine

Purchased at: Tony @ Vision

What makes this beer different: Holy mother of Moses is this stuff strong

Will I be drinking this again: I might have to refine my palette a bit before coming back to this one

Grade: B

1/20/2010: No this picture was not taken crooked on purpose, its just after I smelled the beer I had a hard time staying vertical. The name of this beer is VERY appropriate, because you if you have a few of these you will end up horizontal with your face in the gutter. I made the mistake of drinking this one on an empty stomach, and about 1/3 of the way down I could feel it. After I drank the whole thing I won’t lie I was buzzed pretty good.

The smell is caramely and “grainy”. Alcohol attacks your face right from the start… Man this stuff is strong. The alcohol just doesn’t integrate very well to me. I have had other barleywines in the past and I don’t remember them being this strong. The flavor’s I do get behind the alcohol is mostly caramel malt, and a little bit of cherry. A bit of hops in the background but there needs to be more to balance the alcohol. Mouthfeel is actually pretty nice, very creamy. Overall if they would add some more hops, and mask the alcohol just a litttttleeee bit, then I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

Funny Picture of the day: Who is in the mood for a little Subway?.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 9:22 am  Comments (4)  
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