Two iconic brands in the alcoholic beverage industry have come together on a new collaboration project. Sierra Nevada and Buffalo Trace Distillery announce the debut ofColonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bigfoot.
Packaged in a beautiful canister, just like the one that Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon arrived in, this version of Bigfoot Barlewine was aged for seven years. Of those seven years, its final year was spent in former E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bourbon barrels.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bigfoot is E.H. Taylor’s first nationwide beer collaboration. It also happens to be Sierra Nevada’s strongest beer ever coming in at an impressive 15% ABV.
“Both Sierra Nevada and Buffalo Trace Distillery are pioneers in innovation amongst their categories,” said Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery Master Distiller. “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 premiumizing the industry.”
Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bigfoot is described as offering rich flavors of molasses, caramel, and burnt sugar that’s balanced by whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops found in Sierra Nevada’s cult-classic Bigfoot Ale. After spending seven years in spirit barrels, Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bigfoot unleashes a variety of flavors, including the distinctive flavor of Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon from its final year spent in a barrel.
This collaboration took hold in early 2021 when a representative from the Buffalo Trace Distillery team reached out to Sierra Nevada. During these initial conversations the mutual respect that these two iconic brands had for one another came forth and this is what is said to be the spark for the eventual collaboration.
Both Sierra Nevada and Buffalo Trace wanted to create a premium, high-end product. Therefore the two brands decided to showcase the E.H. Taylor collection of bourbon through barrel-aging an iconic, cult-classic Sierra Nevada beer, Bigfoot Barleywine.
Choosing a bourbon from the E.H. Taylor collection was the perfect decision to spotlight this one of a kind beer. E.H. Taylor’s bourbons are some of the best available without the excessive pricing other comparable bourbons may retail for. Plus, earlier this year on March 3, the 125-year anniversary of the Bottled-in-Bond Act was celebrated. And Colonel E.H. Taylor is largely credited for influencing this milestone in bourbon and is perfect to help launch this behemoth of a beer!
“There’s so much flavor from the barrel. It reminds me of fresh caramel,” said Sierra Nevada Innovation Brewer Nick Ison. “If it’s not the best barrel-aged beer we’ve made, it’s the most unique.”
Regarding the impact of the barrel, Harlen said, “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. I think it will add to the beer’s complexity and allow the Bigfoot brand to showcase a special, unique beer.”
Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bigfoot will retail for $29 per 750mL bottle will only be available in select markets and in limited quantities through Sierra Nevada’s online shop. To locate this beer or any other Sierra Nevada beer, use the Sierra Nevada Beer Finder.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.