Beer, Cider, & Sake

Barley Wine

2013 Bigfood vs. Foghorn: Barleywine blind tasting 1 year after release.

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2013 Bigfood vs. Foghorn: Barleywine blind tasting 1 year after release.

TombstoneShadow | Dec 15, 2013 10:23 PM

Okay, in anticipation of the 2014 barleywine season just ahead, thought I'd do a heads-up blind tasting of two flagships: the 2013 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and Anchor Old Foghorn.

Actual tasting notes follow:
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Foghorn vs. Bigfoot, 2013, released Feb 2013. Tasted Dec. 2013 Blind.

1: Nice initial luscious taste, medium viscosity… but gives way to a bit of a lingering “swamp beer” flavor…. i.e. more of a pale ale backnote.

2: Greater depth of flavor… somewhat more lip-smacking…

1: Back to 1, a bit sweeter on second tasting… and the swamp note has cleared out (decanted?). Definitely more viscous, 2 is a bit more carbonated in texture….

Bottom line… after sipping back and forth, I’m definitely going with 1 due to extra sweetness… which the 2 never really achieves, remaining on the drier side throughout.

Nothing is meant to say that 1 is particularly great, but it is overall solid and relatively better on my palate for what I'm looking for in a barleywine.

RESULTS:
1: Old Foghorn 2013
2: Bigfoot 2013

I should note this is consistent with my palate preferences between these two going back over at least the past 10 years.
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BTW: Anyone know if Foghorn changed their recipe at all since going to the larger 12oz bottle instead of those smaller bottles they used to use? There was a cache to those small bottles like they "seemed" more concentrated, though the flavor seems the same.

I really like this beer, might not be quite my #1 barleywine but it's a go-to everytime and alot more accessible than greats like 3 Floyds Behemoth or Old Horizontal which just don't stay on the shelf... It's got the sweetness, the sticky viscosity, the complexity, love this stuff....

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