Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sierra Nevada - Bigfoot 2012 & Narwhal 2012

Sierra Nevada has been in craft brewing for over thirty years - the company was founded in 1979 and if you want consistently good beer and a variety of styles to select, Sierra nevada is an easy choice.  They also have nationwide distribution and are one of the largest craft brewers in the U.S.  One of their new offerings is Narwhal (10.2% ABV and 60 BU) is an Imperial Stout, which is one of my favorite styles and an old offering is Bigfoot (9.6% ABV and 90 IBU) is a Barleywine style ale.  Both of these beers are seasonal offerings and you will need to purchase them when they are available.  Narwhal is in 4-packs and Bigfoot is in 6-packs.  These are appropriate for cellaring and the Bigfoot is almost one year old.  These are big beers and they should be poured into a snifter and allowed to warm up a bit (50 - 55 degrees).  Think of sitting be a fire and slowly enjoying these - you want to savor every drop.  Both of these beers deserve space in your fridge / cellar and I plan to keep back a few bottles of each and plan to do a vertical tasting of these at some point in the future.  I rate both as A beers and Narwhal recently won a medal at the GABF in Oct.  If you want to try either of these styles - Sierra Nevada makes two excellent ones.  

Also - start looking for Ruthless Rye - a seasonal offering that is now available from Sierra Nevada.  

Russian Imperial Stout - - BeerAdvocate
American Barleywine - - BeerAdvocate

Narwhal website description - “A malt-forward monster, highlighting the depths of malt flavor.  Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come.

Bigfoot website description - “Our cult-classic beast of a barleywine.  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.”

Narwhal -
Bigfoot -

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