Sierra Nevada’s newest ale adventure is seven years in the making. The brand — known for its “Little Thing” line and pale ale offerings — is teaming up with Buffalo Trace for a bourbon barrel-aged ale this autumn.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bigfoot includes the brand’s signature Bigfoot Barleywine-style ale, aged for seven years. During the last year of maturation, the ale sits in barrels previously used to age a small batch of E.H. Taylor, Jr. bourbon, according to an emailed press release.
The exclusive ale marks E.H. Taylor’s first national partnership with a beer brand. The collaboration marks a big move for Sierra Nevada, too: It’s officially the brand’s highest-ABV beer, sitting at hefty 15 percent.
“Both Sierra Nevada and Buffalo Trace Distillery are pioneers in innovation amongst their categories,” Buffalo Trace master distiller Harlen Wheatley states in the release. “Collaborating on a project like this is quite special. Both companies have made a massive impact on pushing the boundaries of craft beer and American whiskey, leading the foray into premiumization of the industry.”
Decadent notes of molasses, caramel, and burnt sugar mingle in the full-bodied ale. Pacific Northwest hops balance out these rich dessert flavors, alongside the signature flavor of Colonel E.H.Taylor bourbon.
“The barrel certainly contributes to the overall flavor by extracting some residual compounds of the bourbon from the wood and blending it with the beer,” Harlen states. “I think it will add to the beer’s complexity and allow the Bigfoot brand to showcase a special, unique beer.”
Each limited-edition bottle arrives in a bourbon-style container featuring a vintage-looking, yellowed label. 750-milliliter bottles are available for $25 in select markets and through Sierra Nevada’s retail website.
Fans might have already spotted the newest version of the iconic Bigfoot ale at Sierra Nevada’s Big Room venue. A July 17 check-in on Untappd, an app allowing users to share their favorite brews, displays a picture of the limited-release Barrel Aged Bigfoot ale on tap.
Beer, bourbon, and Bigfoot — what’s not to love?