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

30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

755 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 755
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.48%


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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GratefulBeerGuy on 11-04-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 755 | Reviews: 463 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mattsander
mattsander

Alberta (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber. Good clarity with the tiniest bubbles Ive seen in a long time. Big dense head lasts forever, a very beautiful beer.

S: Lots of sweet toffee, spice, rye bread, cocoa, coconut, grilled pineapple. Very malty, very well balanced.

T: The sticky toffee comes in first, then a rich fruity center and a slightly tannic, coffee-infused finish. Awesome beer.

M: A big, malty beer with an appropriately malty body. The barrel character in the blend helps to dry this out and make it deceivingly drinkable.

I don't typically enjoy malt-bomb style beers, but this was delicious. I wish I had more.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 03:50:02 | More by mattsander
Photo of SebD
SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice deep amber color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of citrus/mango and pine hops, sweet caramelly malts, spices, some bourbon and some dark fruit (mostly raisins).

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice citrus and pine flavor from the hops along with caramelly malts, some spices, bourbon/oak and some raisins and prunes at the end.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance, feel and bitterness.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas. Glad I got to try this one!

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 20:32:19 | More by SebD
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into 12oz flute at Lazy Boy White Plains, NY.
Pours a wine ruby red/amber brown. Thin white foam head with no lacing. Smell of sweet malts and sweet fruity yeast.
Taste of some roasted fruit yeast, a bit of bitter fruity hops, with a milkey sweet lactic finish. Hints of vanilla and apricot maybe...
ABV is hidden very well, and its super easy to drink. Overall, great cru brew.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2012 20:38:25 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of WertMaker
WertMaker

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bronze and ruby tones greet you in the glass with a thin white head which dissipates slowly.

Poured into a Reidel Magnum wine goblet, the aromas of toast, currant, leather and oak are present.

On first sip, there is hop bitterness that lingers well beyond the nuances of malts, bourbon and oak with undertones of Barleywine, mixed with a the bright hoppiness the likes of an American Pale Ale. This is not a lawn mower beer, but one to relax with on a cold winter day, taking comfort from the cold in it's depth and bold hoppiness.

Serving temperature of this beer was 48 degrees, but the flavor profile improved during this writing allowing the beer to warm slightly above 55.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2012 01:36:53 | More by WertMaker
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25.4oz bottle, 'XXX' strategically placed around the presentation, which I assume represents the 3 mainstay Sierra Nevada brews that make up this joint.

This beer pours a slightly hazy dark bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, foamy, rocky beige head, which leaves some hanging icicle lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds away.

It smells of boozy raisins, prunes, creamed citrus, caramel, toffee, treacle, anise and musty, dusty, bitter floral hops. The taste is, quite frankly, an eye-opener, to the drying-out stage, because it sure catches one's breath - boozy, almost sour caramel malt, zingy, but not really all that fresh bitter citrus/pine hops, dark fig-like black fruit, some further black licorice, molasses, and more musty, dusty cellar character.

The bubbles are quite deflated, the body a sturdy, winsome medium-heavy weight, and fairly smooth, in light of the surprisingly underachieving Sierra Nevada-class hops. It finishes malty, with too many stripes to detail here, with a feeble hop protest, and general overbearing mustiness.

I can't really explain it, as this offering nails practically all of the expected talking points, but something just seems off about this - and it isn't the hops, for those of you lounging in the peanut gallery - maybe it's the lack of expected bourbon barrel character, or general incohesiveness amongst the strong central players, leaving that musty old ale flavour as the most resounding image to me. A well-intentioned beer, to be sure, but a bit hard to put back in practice.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 10:41:52 | More by biboergosum
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of malts on this one. I feel like I may be drinking it a bit too late in that the first review was a year ago. But there is a spicy tone to it that seems not to have been changed by age. And the chalky malty sweetness that I get from other ales from Sierra seems to be as boisterous as I'd expect from a fresh version. So this seems to be holding up quite well. It isn't really blowing me away or overly impressing me, but it's good.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 06:05:25 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a sn-ulip.

A: Medium dark, cloudy, brown hue. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Settles fairly slowly, leaving a blanket of of carbonation on the surface, and a substantial beer ring. Not really much to say in the lacing department.

S: Strong hop character, lots o' molasses, caramel, and licorice.

T: Hops and black licorice. The sweet character does not really come through in the flavor. Cardboard-y and acetyl.

M: Full, thick and syrup, body. Strong alcohol character. A metallic hoppy aftertaste remains.

D: Strong alcohol profile, bitterness, and steely aftertaste dictate this thing goes down a little slow.

Atmosphere is good. Nice hue, decent head, but no real lacing. Nose is a complex combination of sweet and hop notes. Flavor is bitter, and hoppy with a really paper or cardboard character to it, and just the very slightest rumor of sweetness. Thick and syrupy with a high alcohol profile. Overall, this is a good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 03:20:40 | More by bmwats
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. The store owner assures me that at 16 months old, the Grand Cru is drinking better than ever.

A: A finger of creamy head. Clear, ruddy amber, with some bubbles. Glows in the light. Great lacing.

S: Citrus and pine; sweet, fruity malts; and maple syrup.

T/M: This is quite nice. Much softer than I remember, with a round, sweet smoothness leading the way. Creamy grapefruit, lightly dry malts. Rich and layered, I imagine this would make a nice after dinner drink. The hops in the maintaste have largely faded -- not much Bigfoot here -- but make a stunning reappearance in the transcendent aftertaste...velvety and unassuming, a minute or so after the last sip the hidden pine sneaks up and bares its hoppy bitterness

O: Don't serve it too cold. The creamy mouthfeel can tolerate room temperature. This obviously a well-made beer to taste so good after so long. Highly recommended if you can find some, and for $7.50/bottle at The Willows Market, I think I'll be picking up another.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 04:49:52 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver

California

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper color with a huge off white, nearly tan head with excellent retention
S: Smells of pine, slight citrus and an underlying malt sweetness
T: Taste starts off surprisingly caramelly sweet with accompanying bitterness with flavors of pine and some vanilla flavors. Aftertaste is oily hop flavors mixed with some sweet citrus
M: Thick and viscous in the mouth with very soft and delicate carbonation
O: This is a fantastic beer and a very good blend. I kinda want another bottle to age a couple years. It's so smooth and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 03:51:05 | More by SHODriver
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber-golden body, nice clarity, with a foamy, off-white head about half an inch in height.

Smell: Vibrant aroma smelling of toasted, bready malts, varied fresh citrus fruits, florals, booze, new oak wood, slightly sweet-scented caramel, but also some toffee, and with a faint, underlying earthiness.

Taste: Day-old baguettes edged with a little caramelly sweetness. Floral, citrusy hops hinting at marmalade with a moderate degree of pronounced bitterness. Integrated alcohol warmth. Slight earthiness. Fair oak character, some subtle tannins present. Firmly dry, warming finish with a long, lingering bitterness trailing into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's good stuff!

Serving type: on-tap

02-29-2012 18:22:55 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours a clear amber red with a slightly orange tinge. The beer creates a creamy light tan head that lasts quite a bit.

Smell:
A slightly boozy smell but the pine hops dominate the smell with caramel malts and slightly piney.

Taste:
I get a caramel taste with slight piney hops. I also get hints of bourbon and oak undertones. The aftertaste is hoppy and bitter.

Mouthfeel:
Light to mild carbonation and a slightly thick feel. The drink also has s light cold feel to it.

Overall:
A fairly good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 21:54:30 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear dark brown, to dark copper with a three inch creamy off-white head that slowly drops leaving thick lacing. Fine carbonation streams from below.

An even mix of rich caramel and pine sap. Warming brings out spruce, raisins, citrus, even vanilla and some oak.

Grand Cru opens sweet, followed with balancing bitterness. Sweet/bitterness oscillates. There is some acidity and a mix of berries with prunes, pepper and honey as it warms. It has a long, subtle, bitter finish with a roasted character throughout.

A full body and chewy texture are accented by strong alcohol and fair carbonation. Ultimately this is a dry ale.

This is an excellent sipping beer for conversation or bold food. The depth of character continuously changes with warmth. This beer deserves to be consumed slowly.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 13:16:44 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 00:15:57 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a heck of a blended beer. pours darker than a lot of grand cru ive tasted. almost auburn glow, decent off white head. smells very hoppy, definitely from their celebration in the mix. flavor is more akin to a hoppy barleywine, woody, sweet, and strong. a nice drawn out nutty caramely finish. feel is good, medium carbonation and a full body. alcohol gets a but caustic as it warms, and the hops turn sweet, but its all in good proportion. this is a good one to share with a loved one, because a whole bomber would be a major undertaking. perhaps my favorite of the 30th anniversary series.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 04:14:12 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Nuke77
Nuke77

Tennessee

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful red amber color with a very nice very light tan head. The scent is yeasty bread with some sweet malt with a hint of vanilla. The scent follows close on though a bit of hoppiness comes in on the finish as well as a hint of the oak. Very well balanced and a very viscous mouthfeel. The alcohol is well integrated and makes this an easy sipper. Good effort from SN.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 19:29:28 | More by Nuke77
Photo of tweeder263
tweeder263

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a fairly clear amber / red beer nice fluffy almost white head. Has a nice clean smell, nice maltyness and high hoppyness noted, my sense of smell is bad but i do pick up notes of vanilla, possibly from the wood barrel. Taste is quite amazing, alcohol is definitely there,no burn though, sweet but not cloying, with hops right up front to hold it all together. This is definitely a sipper for me. Mouthfeel is nice. Overall a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 01:51:24 | More by tweeder263
Photo of gtermi
gtermi

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This pours a nice dark copper body, with a nice with two finger head. The head is tan and slowly fades away. Once the head fades away it leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S: There is a lot going on in the nose of this beer. I am getting a lot of different things, such as hops, spices, alcohol and some caramel malt.

T: The taste is a lot like the smell. At first I get a strong amount of hops and a little bit of alcohol. There is a very nice bitterness to the beer and once you get past all this, the beer lingers and leaves a very pleasant malt finish.

M: For as strong as this beer is, it is very smooth. It leaves a slight dry feeling in my mouth too. It also feelings like an oily hop coating in my mouth.

O: This is a great beer. I got lucky and found this at a local store and has been buried in the back for two years. It has aged very well and wish I could have tried a fresh bottle. Sierra Nevada never fails to amaze me.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 06:25:54 | More by gtermi
Photo of jwhawkins81
jwhawkins81

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on 11/5/10 so consider this a late review of a fresh Grand Cru

Aroma - Plenty of hops on the nose with both citrus and pine qualities

Appearance - A lot of head that was a light tan that didn't hardly dissipate either. Red color with just a trickle of residual carbonation in the glass. A very good looking beer.

Taste - Interesting level of malt and hops. The upfront malt character is complex with wood notes but not a lot of sweetness. This is a well balanced beer with a more hop forward finish that even I as not too much of a hop head can appreciate. No real hint of alcohol. This is a well crafted beer. Maybe not great but well crafted. Still plenty of head from that first pour.

Notes - Medium mouthfeel with a definite hop oil feeling adding to the mouthfeel and likely the head retention too.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 14:59:11 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of 1Adam12
1Adam12

Indiana

3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 00:00:22 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of Hopfenpeter
Hopfenpeter

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a slightly hazy amber gold and produced a eggshell creamy head about two fingers high. The retention is very good and there is excellent lacing.
The smell is quite complex. Honey, piney hops, caramel, fruity notes like peach and citrus as well as earthy notes.
The taste is truly a combination of different beer styles.
Up front there is a sweet note of honey, caramel and fruity notes of peach. In the middle pine hops and earthy wood notes spice up the flavor. In the end the sweet and the bitter flavors marry in perfect balance. What a great job of brewing!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 04:15:08 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of CaptDavyJones
CaptDavyJones

New York

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy deep red/copper color from a 750 mL corked bottle. The cork literally torpedoed out and shot straight up to the ceiling with the loudest pops I have heard when opening the bottle (no exaggeration).
Nice two finger foamy frothy head that dissipates very slowly. Carbonation does not want to go anywhere.
Aroma is so complex, there is so much going on in the nose. There is definitive vanilla and sweet malts upfront. The citrus, fruity hop aroma raises it's head intermittently, only to be drowned by the sweet malt and vanilla notes. Every swirl releases a wonderful bouquet of aromas. Grapefruit, peach and some dark fruit notes are noticeable. There is also a definite presence of woody notes.
Taste compliments the aroma almost to a tee. Upfront the malt is so big and evident. Palate is coated with silken goodness. Hints of hop spice and kick are evident in the middle, with the finish being almost silken and full-bodied. This is a really complex, yet well balanced ale. The alcohol is very well hidden, hard to tell this beer is all of 9.2% ABV.
Mouthfeel and drinkability are exceptional.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic brew. I am glad I got my hands on a bottle, and if you ever see one of these bottles still around, do get it. Very highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 02:47:22 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of nrbw23
nrbw23

Ohio

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours an amber color with a nice egg shell colored head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- Smell is very nice. Picking up quite a bit of hops with pine leading the way. A nice amount of wood here too.

T- A great mix of flavour here. You can pick out each of the brews here. A great taste of wood, vanilla, and booze. Caramel malts, tropical fruit hops and a bit of spice are in a great balance.

M- Fuller side of medium in body and carbonation was right on.

O- Very impressive beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 18:56:55 | More by nrbw23
Photo of BrewtifulMind
BrewtifulMind

California

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Notorious B.I.G. pint glass

This poured a hazy dark copper color. It had a 2 finger eggshell white colored head, with amazing retention, leaving heavy, sticky lacing down the glass. The smell is very sweet. Strong notes of malt and citrus, with a faint hop presence in the backend. Citrus notes are tasted up front, with a caramel, malty flavor to complement the hops. Also has a slight vanilla oak character from the barrel-aging. Surprised to see that the hops have not faded so much after a year. There was no evidence of it's 9% alcohol content. I was surprised by the mouthfeel. It was much thicker than i had anticipated. Felt like more of a stout or porter than of an american strong ale. This was a solid brew that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 08:19:22 | More by BrewtifulMind
Photo of DaftCaskBC
DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/2" tan head over mahogany liquid with great clarity.

S: Pine and citrus hops.

T: It has a peculiar taste to it as it is very complex. Citrus hops, vanilla, nutmeg, caramel malt, pine hops... The Celebration Ale and Bigfoot are drowning out the Pale Ale.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: A good holiday beer that is a battle between Celebration and Bigfoot, the Celebration is more present at cooler temperatures and the Bigfoot comes out as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 16:30:00 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served a bit cold and with a smallish, fine, cream colored head. Color is a very clear honey amber with small bubble trails. Aroma is a mild blend of hop, malt, caramel, vanilla, toffee. Flavor is very similar, but with caramel & malt sweetness, hop bitterness standing out with good carbonic tang to balance. Bourbon is subdued. Body is full, round, but with sharp hop points complementing the great carbonation. Finish is like flavor, with plenty of alcohol warmth, and fairly long. Glad they served in a smaller glass. Good rich beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2011 00:39:06 | More by drpimento
30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 755 ratings.