I won’t bother to read you the description of this beer on the side of it, believe me it’s full of those big words used to make beer tasting more like wine tasting. So, here goes my review (I promise I won’t say “bouquet” once.)

I like barleywines, despite having some kind of Freudian slip implanted in my head which makes me call them “brandywines” when discussing them. I like their sometimes intoxicating sweetness and usual high alcohol content (this one’s a 9.6 %ABV) and some of the taste that makes it somehow less like beer and more like liquor.

It is, I should mention, their 25th anniversary of Bigfoot, which is a long time considering the only recent resurgence of the craft beer industry in the past few years.

And, in twenty five years of experience, they’ve certainly done something right. This is almost 10% ABV (the same as a Dogfish Head 90minute IPA) and yet, it is smooth and I can’t taste the alcohol content as much as I would have expected. I poured this one out and noticed it was darker than most barleywines I’ve seen lately. It’s well balanced, barely carbonated, yet strong. It’s an assertive brew, certainly not delicate, and it has a lot of nice maltiness to it. I can’t really get over that I can’t taste the alcohol as much in it – a pleasant surprise but I think this could seriously sneak up on you if you weren’t paying attention to the label.

Compared to most barleywines, this one isn’t as sweet, nor is it as thin. This is a rugged beer but it’s well done, so you really feel like you’re drinking something powerful, without feeling like you’re being drowned by its alcoholic bite. Apparently this edition of Bigfoot is a limited release, so I’d see if it’s being sold near you soon, before it disappears like Bigfoot into the woods.

P.S. if you can find it on tap somewhere, it’s a great buy for the money. You’d be surprised how many bars will lump something like this onto their $2.00 draft specials without realizing its immense quality and alcohol content…