Monday, March 31, 2008

2008 Bigfoot, or How I Learned to Stop Shivering and Enjoy the Cold

It's the coldest, grayest month and even though it's the shortest of the year it hardly feels that way. No other month can cause grief the way it can. It's bitter, toothless bite can make even the slightest problem seem like a black, infected spot that exists only to hurt in the deepest, darkest depths of your slowly rotting soul. Yes, my friends, I'm talking about none other than February, and it's a real bitch.

Fortunately though, there was a bright spot in my February this year. As I perused the aisles of my favorite bottle shop looking for something interesting I found it: a $11 six-pack of something that could bring even me up from the miserable depths of winter. Bigfoot, by Sierra Nevada, is a 9.6%abv American Barleywine style ale that pulls no punches and makes no apologies. The alcohol is strong and the hops are bitter; this beer will demand your respect. Poured into one of my trusty Boulevard Smokestack chalices, this beer gave off a dark, murky burgundy hue not unlike a deep glass of red wine. The smell was floral and a bit earthy. The mouthfeel was thick and oily and sticky. The taste was sweet, bitter, malty goodness. The alcohol was well-balanced but still quite obvious. This is not a beer that will sneak up on you, there are no secrets with Bigfoot.

Overall I felt that Bigfoot was an excellent representation of my favorite style of beer. It was everything an American Barleywine should be. I fully intend to cellar the remaining bottles for next winter but we'll see how that goes. Now that we're well into March and it's not so cold any more the temptation to crack open the remaining bottles is waning, but if history serves as any indicator, we're not quite through winter yet. And I've got 4 more bottles waiting in the basement just in case.