Review – Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barley Wine Style Ale 2003
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One of my favorite styles of ale is Barley Wine. I love it because it has so much flavor, and packs a punch. I do my best to save some for at least a year to see how it changes (hopefully for the better). I have had vintage Stone Old Guardian 2002, and was amazed how a spicy, fresh barley wine can mature into a sweet, fruity, floral drink over time.
I stopped by one of Los Angeles counties landmark beer spots, The Stuffed Sandwich for a variety of ales and food, and sure enough, I persuaded myself to buy some vintage Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Marlene of The Stuffed Sandwich made up a mixed six pack with SNBF’s from 1992 to 2004. This review is the first one I tried, the 2003 at the end of 2007.
Appearance: Poured a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. Looked like dark, cloudy, unfiltered apple cider. Even with an agressive pour, I didn’t find any head, and only had spotty lace after sipping. A magical swirl was at the top looking down.
Aroma: Smelled like a Charms Carmel Apple lollipop. Spicy alcohol notes are still present after 4+ years.
Taste: Apple, pineapple, guava, milk chocolate and caramel. Hop spice is still present. Also reminded me of Snapple Lemon Iced Tea.
Mouthfeel: Bitterness hits the middle of your tongue, but the sweetness coats the rest of your mouth long after. Carbonation was at a unique level and felt super sparkley on the tongue.
Drinkability: So so tasty. After half a 12oz bottle, you will be warm all over. Save for dessert. I would serve it with chocolate truffles. I would stock up this top flight brew. At $11.00, it is the best value you can find for what you get. Try your best to save some. I was unable to save all but 1 bottle of 2007, after trying to. 2008 should be out by the end of January, or the beginning of February.