So here's a beer most breweries would sell in wax-covered bombers for a good $10+ a pop. Sierra Nevada, however, has somewhat generously decided to sell its Bigfoot barleywine in regular six packs at regular prices. The Bigfoot, in other words, is one hell of a good investment.
This is a big beer at 9.6% ABV, one meant for quiet sipping unless you want to hit the floor quickly.
It looks nigh perfect straight out of the bottle, with a deep amber hue and a think creamy head. Give it a whiff, and you can pick up on hops straight off the bat, but it's also nicely flanked by notes of sweetness and alcohol. I doubt Sierra Nevada intended to cover up the almost 10% of it here.
Sip, and the balance of hops and caramel-like flavors dances onto the tongue, like Fred Astaire with a vacuum cleaner. There is a bit of booziness going on, possibly a bit too much for some, but I quite enjoyed the warmth of it. Reminded me of a good cognac.
Hell, serve this up in a snifter, and you'd give the ale the classy treatment it deserves.
Bigfoot is an excellent barleywine; sure it might not quite be up there with an Old Ruffian, but then you don't have to sell your soul to be able to afford this one either. Consider us fans.