30th Anniversary - Grand Cru - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru

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788 Ratings
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Ratings: 788
Reviews: 467
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 36
Gots: 187 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GratefulBeerGuy on 11-04-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 788 | Reviews: 467
Reviews by SiepJones:
Photo of SiepJones
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours two fingers of creamy, fluffy white head. The head leaves a nice resin on the sides of the glass. This beer is a deep copper, more brown than anything else.

S: Rich malt aroma from this beer, slight oaky scent.

T: Rich, chewy malt. More like a syrup malt mash flavor than grain. I pick up the oak again, and the slightest taste of hops at the end with some alcohol heat. The flavors meld together nicely.

M: Good body on the mouth. Slightly chewy and the ending is creamy. Little bit of alcohol heat.

D: This beer has an excellent flavor and I am glad that I let it cellar and mellow out. I would drink it again, but not more than a snifter (or two!) during a sitting.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a few samples of this brew over the weekend.Poured a deep ruby red with a sticky off white head that clung like like glue to the glass.Aromas are fruit tinged along with some vanilla,but the big piney hops are the show stealer,both mix great together.Flavors start out with some vanilla and some spiced cherry and they meld into a big resiny,citric finish.I liked the flavors but they were not overly complex,in saying that this is a really fine beer,one to savor.

Photo of Aaron420
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: A dark amber color with a large off white head with tons of lacing.

S: A nice hit of citrus fruits mixed in with a nice piny touch. Then comes the wonderful aromas from the bourbon.

T: Starts with a malty vanilla taste that subsides and leaves a bitter piny flavor in the back of the mouth and throat. With a very faint flavor of the high ABV with the finish.

M: A little thicker than one would expect but still very smooth.

D: Very good beer would love to have a couple more sitting in my cabinet waiting for a rainy day.

Photo of warnerry
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip

Pours a beautiful clear deep amber with two fingers of thick, creamy head (almost like foam on a root beer float).

Smell is dominated by hops, with some oak coming through as well. Sweet caramel malt follows.

The hoppy character really meshes well with the oak aged Bigfoot. The hops, mostly citrus, and oak flavors are followed by some nice caramel malt. Alcohol is a bit noticeable, but not overwhelming. Both the hop bitterness and oak tannins linger on the tongue. Some hints of dried fruits come through as well.

Has a nice chewy mouthfeel, with a lot going on. Finishes with lingering bitterness.

Really enjoyed this. Definitely worthy as an anniversary brew for SN. Would love to see this released again.

Photo of Beaver13
3.49/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy amber brown with a huge light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a bit subdued - sweet caramel malts, some fruit, some wood, and resiny hops with a little fusel alcohol.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts, some fruits, and some harsh alcohol with a decent resiny bitter finish that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a decent a big beer. It's very drinkable and grew on me as I went through the bottle.

Photo of mverity
3.24/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an amber brown with a bit of orange. Medium tan collar and the head was either non-existent or faded so quickly that I didn't see it by the time it was handed to me. Aroma is boozey, really overly woody, brown sugar. Medium body and very low carbonation . Taste is of raisin, toffee, and some of that woodiness present in the aroma. Taste is more of a barley wine than grand cru.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep burgundy color with a beautiful frothy head that stays for the long haul. Looks like Bigfoot. Smells of citrus and pine hops, alcohol fumes, fruity. The oakiness come through in the taste in just the right amount. Perfect hoppy/oaky finish that lingers on the palate with a light vanilla touch lingering here and there. Caramel, overripe macintosh apples, toffee....good stuff here. Im not a huge fan of SN other than their Bigfoot but this one delivers in spades. Must be the BF influence...and the oak makes it that much better. I would love to try straight oaked BF...that would be amazing.

Photo of mikechance
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was looking very forward to trying this one from the tap. It is very good and the best of the 30th Anniversary Series (IMHO).

It combines elements from Bigfoot, Celebration and Pale Ale. It's a very enjoyable blend you should sit, sip and enjoy. You can taste the various elements at different stages of your drinking.

Although it's very strong (9.2%) it is very drinkable. Definately purchase a bottle (or three) if you can't make it out to the brewery!

Photo of merlin48
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged bomber cost $10.79 at the enigmatic beer oasis called Pappy's Beer and Wine in extreme southwestern Virginia's Lee County, about four miles north of Cumberland Gap National Park off US Route 58. Pours a slightly hazed copper amber body with a large beige head. The head is long lasting and leaves behind generous splotches of patchy lace on the pint glass.

Aroma is rich and complex. Fruity citrus notes are highlighted by mouthwatering pink grapefruit. SN's signature Cascades are made evident by pine cone fragrances. Caramel and vanilla add an enticing depth.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium full with a soothing creaminess and medium carbonation that is "just right".

Taste opens with a bold hop bitterness that definitely has a Bigfoot print. Pine and grapefruit rind take no prisoners early on. As it warms, the grapefruit evolves into the pink variety, accented by Mandarin orange notes and the malts start to kick in with some caramel sweetness. Complex tones of vanilla and oak jump aboard and the party is on. Alcohol must surely be in here but it is cleverly tucked away. Toward the finish the pine and grapefruit hops playfully cascade about the demure malty elements as the dry hopping is permitted to flourish in the finish.

Aggressive and confident, and for good reason. What a blending of Bigfoot, Celebration, and SNPA this is. Complex and satisfying. A tour de force of the brewers art. Amazing integration of all the flavor elements.

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First....Happy F'n anniversary!!

One of the finest breweries on the planet and quite an old friend....large bottle, capped and corked. Pours coppery amber, under a majestic lite tan head, that slowly fades to a thick film and leaves fine scattered lace.

The nose is loaded with citric and resiny hop notes that come through loud and clear even to my challenged sense of smell. Impressive

Super smooth and flavorful brew. Dense hop notes. Luscious malt under carriage. Adds up to a world class ale. No joking around on this one, all the components come together, dry hopping, barrel aging, and blending...well done, thanks for the excellence of your products and here is to another 30 years!

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish-amber color with an off-white head.

The aroma is oak, maple, orange citrus, caramel and pine. I think you can really pick out the different aroma components from the three base beers.

The flavor is very similar. The two first flavors I get are caramel malt and citrus from the hops. I also get some oak and pine notes. Low to medium bitterness. I also get quite a bit of alcohol, which I imagine will mellow a bit with aging. Of course the great hop components in the flavor and aroma would probably fade with age, so I am not sure if the beer will improve with age, although I am sure it would still be very good.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I think this is by far the best of the four Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary beers.

Photo of BigE90
3.3/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a sniffer, 40 deg to start, 55 finish, 1 finger foam, good carbonation

A: Great looking deep/dark amber

S: Slight hop aroma, nothing over powering

T: A little bitter hops pow at the start then just a suttle flavor towards the finish. Not a lingering aftertaste but you know you are drinking not your average beer

M: Focused on the back of the tongue, no taste of alcohol, just a slight bitter hops flavor

O: Ok beer with my taste, definitely taste better warmer, takes the edge of the hops in my opinion. Would drink again but not one that I would gravitate towards.

Photo of 1Adam12
3.41/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden amber color. The nose is very weak. Smells like a watered down bigfoot. Caramel and sweetness. Taste has a nice caramel like bigfoot, but I taste cinnamon on the back end, however the back end really doesn't last. Mouthfeel is too light IMO. This could've been better with a fuller mouthfeel. Light, and the finish just isn't much. Overall, this was ok. Like I said, I feel with a fuller, bigger mouthfeel, this could've been better. Just a bit thin. Still ok though, just wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of bsp77
4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from 750ml bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Slightly hazy burnt amber with thick, foamy, cream-colored head that leaves lacing on everything it touches.

Smell: Strong orange driven citrus, light grapefruit, and toasted & caramel malt. Somewhat spicy as well with a touch of pine.

Taste: Fantastic balance. The citrusy (orange, grapefruit) hops play very nicely with the caramel and toffee driven malt backbone. Pine, spice and bitterness rear up toward the finish. Don't really detect the oak-aging, but perhaps the overall profile has been tempered as a result. Really does taste like a happy mix between a Barleywine and an IPA, but does not really seem like a DIPA. As it warms in the glass, the Barleywine profile becomes more apparent. I think the Pale Ale contributes the orange driven hops, as Celebration and Bigfoot are more along the grapefruit end of the citrus spectrum.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, with a full, creamy body that is very dry and warming.

Drinkability: This is just an unbelievable beer, almost on par with their Celebration Ale, which is my desert island beer. Easily the best of the 30th Anniversary lineup.

Photo of kingcrowing
3/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml corked & caged bottle poured into a HF tulip.

Pours a hazy dark amber/brown with a small light brown head with some thin lacing. Nose is a lot like Bigfoot, a bit oxidized, sweet, malty, and a bit earthy.

Taste is balanced but a bit underwhelming, age certainly isn't helping - but this shouldn't be too much of a surprise since it's dry hopped and has pale ale in it. It's pretty malty, there's a nice hoppy bitterness that's mellow. Overall it's ok but it's the weakest of the series two years out.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i was very happy when i seen this on the shelves at premier. out of the 4 30th anniversary beers, this was by far the hardest one to find. 750ml cork and caged bottle a little above fridge temp poured into a bulb style glass.

pours out a very nice looking dark ruby red, slightly bronze color with a big 3 fingers of creamy off white head. great retention with a decent amount of sticky lace. the second pour yielded an even fluffier head and delicious looking sticky lace.

not the huge aroma i was expecting, comes out more as it warms, mostly resinous, piney hops. also some citrus, light boozy, bourbony, slightly vanilla oak, light caramel malt.

tastes much better than the aroma suggested. all three beers are independently noticable, yet come together so well to make for a great tasting beer. lots of resinous piney, citrus hops, slight boozy, bourbony, vanilla, woody oak, very nice bready caramel malt to balance. i also detect maybe a hint of a cinnamin spice every other sip. i never want this glass to end!

a lighter mouthfeel than i might have expected. good amount of lingering hop bitterness. carbonation is spot on.

this is exceptionally drinkable for 9.2%, hardly noticable, but it will catch up to quick.

im definatly glad i got the chance to try this beer, if at all possible i will pick up some more the next time i come across it. i would love to sit a bottle down and see how it ages. highly recommended in my book! went exceptionally well with buffalo's own "la nova" pizza and wings.

Photo of kingjames1
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, deep copper. Thick head, with sticky lacing. Presents nicely. Smells of grapefruit, cherries, sweet bread, and a hint of pine straw. Taste is fantastic - tart with citrusy hops, thick with sweet malt. The citrus dominates (grapefruit), but beneath is a richly complex malt backbone with hints of chocolate, vanilla, and cherries, but did I say the grapefruit dominates? A hop-head's dream. The alcohol barely makes an appearance.

The mouthfeel is remarkably light, given the thick, chewey nature of the brew. And for such a heavy beer, this is unbelievably drinkable. But warning: not for the light of heart. A hops overload. Yummy...

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my SNXXX bubble glass, this brew pours a sunburst orange with highlights of ruby. The giant, fluffy, billowing, pillow of a head is a welcomed addition that the Big Foot portion adds to the bill.

S: The aroma on this brew is very complex. Piny hops with notes of citrus and grapefruit. The aroma is slightly more fruit like than Celebration. The is a sweet malt background with a little roast to it.

T: The flavor is very fresh, crisp, and complex. Lots of hop complexity in this brew. Pine and citrus. Fruit notes mix with roasted caramel malt. The oak picks up in the finish, and smooths the whole thing out.

MF: The mouth feel is big on this one. Lots of carbonation, and a smooth finish.

D: Drinkability is good, especially at 9.2%

Overall, this is the best of the XXX series. I personally loved the stout, and plan to age that along with the barelywine and this one of course.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After such a long wait, finally got to try this at the 30th anniversary party, boy, was it worth it!

Pours a dark orange color, lots of carbonation that does not take away from the beer. Densely packed bubbles in the head. Great retention. Aroma definitely boosed with the dry hopping additions, and I swear I can smell the wood.

You definitely can taste the wood to this one. Must have tamed the Bigfoot a bunch, because it drinks so easily. More citrusy than any of the 3 base versions put into this, great job with the dry hopping once again. More citrus coming out in the mouthfeel, both tangerine and pineapple, the flavors are so much more than the sum of the parts, its an entirely new and yet pleasantly familiar creature.

I'm going to age one, but the dimensions of the dry hopping lead me to believe this one is best now. But who knows. . . we'll see down the road.

Photo of mondegreen
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a Sierra Nevada XXX Balloon Tulip.

Pours an amber-copper with a big frothy off white head that just won't stop. Sticky lacing adorns the sides of the glass.

Nose is pleasant, if a little muted. The wood & hops mingle nicely, with just a touch of boozy sweetness lurking in the shadows.

Taste is like the nose, but amplified. Big hop bitterness and a touch of booze, all brought together by a certain smoothness from the oak aging. Hops linger pleasantly in the aftertaste. Masterful.

Mouth is medium with a full carbonation. Very nice.

For nearly 10%, this beer goes down like water. Probably the best of the Anniversary series; the most unique for sure.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby amber hue with a big off white head foams above the rim of the Sierra Nevada 30th Grand Cru, this one serves up a big head with fine speckled lacing. Aroma has strong upfront pine tones with a hoppy pine/citrus mix of hop flow amongst the Barleywine oak aged characteristics. Dominant oak aging didn't truly sit well with me, but I liked the strong ale that came from the blending of three of their existing beers. A bit rough in the finish, but big caramel malts with hints of vanilla, oak. Strong pine, citric rinded hop heaviness throughout with ample bitterness to create an interesting experience. Mouthfeel was medium to fuller bodied nice flowing carbonation, wonderful pop after decorking this bottle. Drinkability was solid, easy drinking slow sipper aggressive big specialty release from Sierra Nevada. I can't wait to try their next hoppy seasonal that's on the horizon.

Photo of chinchill
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle served in a Unibroue snifter. After a solid 'pop' of the champagne cork (showing the 1980-2010 anniv. span), this poured a murky orange-brown with a modest but durable beige head. Served a bit too cold at first, the aroma opened up to a rich, inviting and complex mix after just a little warming. I am not a fan of bourbon but did appreciate the clear impact on the flavor, together with a rather pronounced presence of oak in the finish: Both linger on and on in the aftertaste. In the superb nose [4.75], both the wood and the bourbon residue had a much more subdued influence, letting the malts and hops take the forefront, as well as a nice dark fruit note. The flavor too has a rich base of medium roasted malts and, I think, some dark malt. This provides a solid base, with enough hops to lend a spicy/peppery aspect and to render to overall flavor bitter-sweet.

Near full body. Surprisingly smooth for 9.2% ABV. [4.25]

O: a truly great beer [4.75] ... one of those I wish I had a case [or more] of in my cellar.

Photo of OStrungT
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a orangish red color with a thick, fluffy tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a massive lace.

This beer smells malty sweet. Some caramel and a little toffee. Citrusy hops mix in with a slight vanilla aroma as well.

This beer tastes like it smells. Massive sweetness with a citrusy hops flavor. It is quite malty. A very subtle vanilla flavor mixes in as well.

this beer is full bodied. It is carbonated well, and leaves a caramel like aftertaste.

This beer wouldnt make a great session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the flavor is quite aggressive.

Overall: This beer is pretty good, but it is alittle over the top on sweetness.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer pours a slightly dense but clear aged copper body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles. There is a thick yellowish-beige head that sticks to the glass in thick rings and last as a thick meniscus.
S- The nutty sweet caramel malt has some woody aromas to it with a green herbal hop finish that also has some woody qualities.
T- This beer has some very nice barleywine sweetness with caramel, toasted malt and a touch of darker malts in the background and a juicy pungent hop finish with a nice green herbal hop prick that lingers.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a soft tight fizz that enhances the hops and a light alcohol heat that cuts some of the malt sweetness.
D- You can taste all three beers separately but they all compliment each other and the big star is the herbal woody hops that stand out. The layer make me want to sip faster and faster to catch all the complexity and this beer is soon gone. This might be a totally different beer with age but it is to good fresh to let it sit.

Photo of apbarwood
4.71/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well for starters, this beer just looks sensational. Deep copper color approaching light brown with a thick creamy head of foam. Copious amounts of lacing stick to the inside of the glass. The nose is somewhat more subdued then I would have expected. There's a faint pine resin aroma that's pleasant though perhaps a bit understated and lots of clean grassy and herbal notes. I'd like a little more intensity in the bouquet especially for a dry-hopped beer but it's nice at any rate. On the palate, there's an initial sensation of sweetness that's no doubt derived from the oak. A definite vanilla flavor comes first and blends nicely with the hop citrus flavors. The balance of the hops and oak lends a bit of a bright orange quality that slowly fades into a dry, bitter grapefruit/orange peel. The malt provides a nice base but doesn't go any further than I want it to. All in all, very nicely balanced and interesting flavors that keep me wanting more. There's a lot of nuance here and as it warms, more flavors are opening up. The finish becomes slightly more earthy and pine-like over time and I can taste a bit more of a toasty oak. Across the board, this beer is very smooth and exceptionally balanced. There's a lot going on, but nothing sticks out too much and I find myself wanting to taste it again and again. It's too bad this beer is a one time thing, because I could definitely see myself drinking this again and again.

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 788 ratings.