Sierra Nevada produce some great stuff. Their Pale Ale is what I'd consider the standard in American IPAs, while their Torpedo IPA is probably my favourite of the range, being an affordable, available and tasty India Pale Ale of manly strength. Their seasonals have been good to me so far, and the Stout and Kellerweis were great and good respectively, despite lacking notes on the blog. All in all, it's a good range, and I've yet to try the rest. As such, I was very excited to finally crack open my 2012 Bigfoot, a barleywine-style ale from our Chico friends.
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2012 pours with a big head, surprising for a beer of 9.6% ABV. It's a dark copper toned beer, and I have to say it looks good in the glass. On the nose you can't escape the waxy pine bitterness from the hops. It's exceptionally hoppy and fruity, yet the quiet malt undertones can be found if you pay attention. The taste delivers loud and sharp fruity hops, with that pine/peel bitterness present in the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Torpedo also showing up here. The hops seem to lend a sticky coating to the sides of your mouth, aided by the high alcohol content and chocolate malt notes. It's delicious and easy to drink, despite it's potency. As time goes on and the beer warms up, things start to get really interesting, as you get more complexity in the aroma and taste with deep toffee chocolate notes (not unlike those in a Black Chocolate Stout stout) somehow finding their way into the beer and wonderfully complimenting the citrus, grapefruit and herbal hop qualities already living there.
This beer carries a slightly higher price tag than others on the range, but for anyone who enjoys their hoppy Americans, it's certainly worth a go.