We've gone from Winter and Christmas beers two of my favorite styles to yet another style that I have great admiration for, Barleywine. And when you talk about American Barleywine you have to talk about Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. One of the first American Craft Brewers to brew this style its iconic for very good reason. Its delicious. Well for me one Bigfoot is just not enough, I wanted two, from two different years. I tried the current 2009 release with the 2008 to see how it held up after a year.
2008: Go here to see my thoughts on this beer when it was fresh. The beer pours a cloudy hazy brown with a thin white head. The nose is rich and malty with just a hint of hoppy grapefruits. The mouth is thick and chewy lots of dried fruit, raisins, figs, and a bit of molasses. As I continue to drink notes of apricots and grapefruit start to show up, yep the hop character is still here. Malty up front with a good hop backbone at the finish with mellow alcohol notes. This beer will definitely make it another year or so ands till be quite tasty. Its a B+ for me.
2009: Now for the fresh one. It pours a clear dark amber brown with a thing off white head. No haziness here. As with the previous year it weighs in at 9.6%. Roasted malts, citrus orange peel on the nose. The mouth is similar, roasted malts, tastes of burnt brown sugar. Much stronger hop component here, big grapefruit and orange peel flavors. A warming sensation throughout. Very nice, I actually think I might like this one more, but that could just be my preference for the hops. This one gets an A- from me.