From Sierra Nevada Brewing Company out of Chico California comes their seasonal the “Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale”. This bottle is of the 2014 Vintage being bottled on 12/10/13. This big ale pours a deep copper with a light brownish head. The aroma consists of big malts, some floral hops and a hint of fruits. The flavour is of huge malts, dark fruits, pine and hops bitterness. This beer is obviously young as the alcohol is still quite hot (quite noticeable). The alcohol content comes in at 9.6% and I would assume the IBU is fairly high as well. This is a very good Barleywine if you are a fan of the style but it could really use some aging to bring up the malts while bringing down the alcohol burn.
Commercial Description: Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with bold flavors of bittersweet malt and heaps of aggressive whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops. First introduced in the winter of 1983, Bigfoot is a cult-classic beer brewed in the barleywine style, meaning a strong, robust, bruiser of a beer with the refined intensity of a wine. Bigfoot is prized by beer collectors for its supreme cellarability. Under the proper conditions, it can age like a fine wine, developing new flavors and character as it matures in the bottle. Each new release or “expedition” is vintage dated. Collect your own and see the flavors develop and progress.
From Victoria BC’s Driftwood Brewing comes the “Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine Style Ale 2013″. This is a Winter 2013 Vintage opened up soon after release. This barleywine is a very different animal than any other vintage that I have tried to date. The beer pours a medium copper colour with a white head. The aroma consists of malts, caramel, citrus fruits and floral hops. The flavour is of big hops bitterness and pine with caramel, citrus, malts and big alcohol warmth. The alcohol content comes in at 11.6% with a high IBU probably in the neighborhood of last years 75 IBU. Something happened this year with the barleywine it seems. This seems more like a triple IPA than a Barleywine. Don’t get me wrong this is a great beer but it does not really fit into its category. Age this beer for a few months minimum to bring down the alcohol warmth present.
Commercial Description: This intense concentration of malt and hops is delicious when fresh but can be layed-down for years. Enjoy with care!
Located in the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy is the Brasserie de Rochefort brewery near Rochefort in Belgian. This is a Trapist monastery and as such makes trapist beer such as this “Trappistes Rochefort 10”. The beer pours an orange brown with an off white head. This beer has a great aroma of alcohol and darker fruits. There is a ton of flavor to this beer including fruit, yeast, malts, woody smokiness and a slight alcohol taste that has a slight burn down the throat just like a hard liquor. This beer is not too sweet and has a really nice flavor. The alcohol content of this beer is quite high at 11.3%. I did see some sediment in the bottle but it was not an issue.