Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

Not Rated.
30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

464 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 464
Hads: 794
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 35
Gots: 189 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 464 | Hads: 794
Photo of drpimento
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

 537 characters

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of beige head. Pretty good retention. Color is a dark copper amber.

Aroma: Floral and pine hops. A lot like celebration. A lot of caramel malts and vanilla with some oak and heat.

Taste: A big amount of hops followed by a big amount of malts as well. Grapefruit citrus, floral and pine hops all up front. Sticky. Caramel sweetness. Vanilla and oak. Again, a little boozey.

Mouthfeel: Bitter than creamy. Medium to full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It had a lot of unique flavors blending together and it worked really well. Solid offering from SN.

 629 characters

Photo of ShanePB
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle, pulled from Nick's cellar. Shared for a video episode, transcribed from the footage. Poured into two tulip glasses.

A: Semi-hazy copper/amber colored body with a creamy looking, dense off-white head. Retention is pretty good on this one, leaving a thin patchy cap and acceptable lacing on the walls. Very nice looking beer.

S: Lots of darker fruits and a rich robust malt element. Big dark and caramel malts, raisins and figs up front. Midway through, some sweeter sugars and fruits come in. The back end brings the barrel treatment part of this beer in the form of woody oak notes and a bit of generic booze.

T: Follows suit fairly well with the aroma. Lots of dark malts and a touch of bitterness first, perhaps from the dry hopping I believe was done to part of this beer. Mid-palate is sweet darker fruits (raisins, prunes) and brown sugar. Again, the barrel aging treatment comes in for the finish, lots of woody flavors with just a hint of bourbon on the back end. Certainly not overwhelming nor the focus of the beer, but another excellent addition to a complex and ever-changing profile.

M: Fairly bubbly, medium-bodied and a bit fizzy on the tongue. It is lower on the carbonation but I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on this feel. Not as smooth or silky as I would have thought or liked.

This one surprised me; it's a super complex flavor profile that takes your palate on a rollercoaster ride of flavors. Although only 23-25% (I believe) part of the beer had a barrel treatment done, I just would have liked more of that to come through throughout the taste. My preference but it doesn't hurt any part of my scores since that wasn't the intention. Complex, flavorful, this is one to try.

 1,733 characters

Photo of Kromes
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A cloudy amber color with a dense off-white head that laces the glass.

S: Toasted malt, caramel, yeast, and grassy hop.

T: Caramel malts with some booze and herbal, grassy hops.

M: Heavy body and good carbonation.

O: A nice strong ale. The booze is a bit strong, but then again that is the style. Well crafted and tasty.

 327 characters

Photo of FarmerJohnny
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Beautiful amber/red color with a thick two finger foam the lingers a bit.

S: Some hops, good amount of caramel

T: Smooth, malty upfront. Can taste the smokiness and caramel notes from the bourbon aged ale throughout. Small hop bite on the finish. Not much alcohol taste for being 9.2%.

M: Perfect, exactly what I want in my beer. Clean, refreshing, tasty, with a medium body.

O: A fantastic beer. I wish this was a regular from Sierra Nevada. Every sip the beer gets better and the bourbon aged Bigfoot adds a fantastic twist to the beer. This beer is an instant classic. Cheers!

 627 characters

Photo of klaybie
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber red color with 2 finger head that quickly recedes.

N: Alcohol, caramel and fruity esters are what I detect though there isn't a strong aroma to this beer.

T: This is much better than the nose made me think it would be. I taste fruity notes (apple, grape) with caramel in the middle and the taste of grape peel at the end.

M: Light carbonation, good mouthfeel, fairly viscous.

O: For a 9.2% abv beer I can't taste the alcohol at all. This is a wonderful beer and one I may try to cellar if I can manage to hang on to it for that long.

 561 characters

Photo of GPHarris
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured big, billowy three-fingers thick tan head into a snifter that left phenomenal lacing and sheeting throughout. the body was a bright reddish-brown color.
s - big pine hop aromas with some citrus notes. toffee and caramel sweetness come through as well.
t - the toffee and caramel start it off but pine bitterness just washes over the tongue. incredible flavor.
m - heavy coating and lively carbonation.
o - incredible beer and of the blends used bigfoot comes through the most for me.

 494 characters

Photo of SawDog505
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 13 oz tulip, a clear rust color with a 3 inch head off white head that lingers. Nice lacing. This is very interesting beer. Smell is bready, some pine, some citrus, and carmel. Taste is all that, starts smooth with a big bitter burst of piney hops. Some hints of charcoal and booze from the barrels and carmel and toffee. Mouthfeel is pretty big, with a good amount of carbonation. Very nice and different beer, I really liked the whole series and very happy I have several in my basement. Bottle pretty close to a year old now, not sure I like it better?

 567 characters

Photo of iDrinknewglarus
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours red, clear, maybe a tinge of orange and brown. Massive frothy head that sticks around forever and leaves insane lacing. This is one fantastic looking brew.

S: Fresh, juicy hops. Slightly faded, it has been almost a year since this was bottled. Very slight tinge of alcohol, but hidden for the most part. Spicy, peppery. Sweet malt comes in as it warms.

T: Sweet caramel malt notes dominate over the hops. Also really, really smooth. Dangerously smooth. The hops are piney, citrusy, spicy. It is not super super bold as it sits (hopwise), but its a nice blend of three great beers.

M: Slightly sticky. On the higher side of medium and with small bubbled carbonation. It feels oily and viscous in the mouth.

This is an surprisingly easy beer to drink at 9.2% and it tastes pretty damn good, even with age on it. I think it would have been a bit better fresh (since I'm a hop head), but it is still really good right now as it sits. I may have to pick up a second bottle to age even further.

 1,004 characters

Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, Cork and Cage, purchased 8/2011 and well stored in a temperature controlled environment. Bottle code reads bottled 10/8/2010.

Poured into a British Imperial Nonic

Pours a nice one finger head, then settles down to a 1/8” cap which lasts.
Very deep amber color.

Good rich malt is the first thing that hits you in the smell, followed by piney hops, the malt is rather mild but the hops are decent.

When tasted you are struck by this massive, aggressive malt bomb, quickly followed by piney, distinctly bitter hops, then as the ale warms the malt comes back for a second show. Great carbonation and acidity, along with some residual sugar help balance all this out. Full mouth feel. Very mouth drying! Wood?

Dry, distinctly bitter hop oils cling to the palate and seemingly last forever.

Wow! What a monster ale. Delicious flavors, falls short in the aroma, but everything else is so intense.
Label states that 22% was aged in wood and if that is what is causing the distinct mouth drying component of this ale that must have been some serious wood.
Intense bitter hops in the taste yet not so much in the aroma. Is this a little too old, or perhaps not stored properly?
This is one of only two bottles that I have, the other one was purchased 4/2011 so I will have to see. You can definitely taste the influence of the Oak Aged Bigfoot Barley Wine. Must be a killer brew in its own right.

 1,413 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a snifter. I sampled this once before out of a fresh bottle, and was underwhelmed (but intrigued). I'm excited to see how it tastes out of moderately old keg.

A: Clear, radiant vermillion body under a 1/2" head of fine tan foam. Great retention for the strength, and solid lace to boot. Gorgeous.

S: Citrus hops dominate, backed up by caramel, vanilla, and light, hoppy spice. Nice.

T: Follows the nose, but with more emphasis on the caramel and toffee malts. A touch of oaky vanilla on the way to a long, lightly boozy finish. Tasty beer, but not particularly distinctive.

M: Hefty, frothy, and over-carbonated. It's quite a mouthful, but not always in the most pleasant way.

O: I was amazed at how well the hops continued to stand out after almost a year, but overall this tasty beer never quite got over the hump from good to great. I'd gladly order another glass, but I'm not kicking myself for passing on $12 bottles.


 960 characters

Photo of korguy123
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes - Purchased and consumed one week after release

A- Copper / ruby red pour. Booming 3+ finger soapy off white head. Recedes to 1/4" cap after 10-15 minutes. Sticky on the sides of the glass and the alcohol clings very well.

S- Smooth bitter hops, floral with a mild grapefruit. Strawberries and a slight malt backing. Brown sugar and vanilla peaking through after a slight swirl of the glass.

T- Hops up front and are complimented by the oak aging. Bitter floral and citrus hops. Candied sugar, strawberries, brown sugar and vanilla with a roasted malt.

M- Medium to full bodied. Juicy up front, chewy in the back. Quick bitter aftertaste. Sticky sweet on the lips.

O- Sierra Nevada hit a home run with this. Everything just works so well together. They definitely saved the best for last with the 30th Anniversary series

 843 characters

Photo of Jules11788
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a clear deep, dark, brick-red/copper color; fat three finger-width head, sticky lacing. Just a beautiful beer in every way

S: Wet, earthy, floral hops with a very slight tinge of malt in the background.

T: Subtle, subdued, earthy hops melt over the tongue; finishes light and with a little bit of bitterness that lingers. The taste is so superbly balanced that it's hard to pick out individual flavors. It says 9.2% abv on the bottle but it feels more like 6% because of how ridiculously smooth it is.

M: Medium-thick viscosity; velvety smooth and soft on the tongue, no hint of booze at all.

O: This is one of my favorite beers -- it's exceptionally well-balanced, very smooth, and utterly delicious.

 715 characters

Photo of HoosierInOhio
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy Brown, barely see through it, 3 finger foamy head sits atop this in my Pilsner glass

S - Hard to get a read, caramel? Hops, vanilla notes, some dark fruits buried in there

T - Vanilla, Oakey-ness, Fruits, hoppy, slight chocloate, lots going on but nothing overpowers

M - Velvety feel, alcohol isn't too prevalent, well hidden

O - Expected more, much prefer arrogant bastard at half the price

 404 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Brewers Reserve Grand Gru has a medium, thick, creamy, cream-colored head and an opaque dark amber appearance with lots of thick lacing down the chalice. The aroma is of sweetness, sharpness, hops, overly-ripe fruit, and a slight chocolate. Taste is also of over-ripe fruit, prunes, baking chocolate, hops, sweetness, red wine, sharpness, and other things I can’t identify. Mouthfeel is thick, heavy, and chalky, and Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary finishes dense, bitter, menthol, and rich. Overall, I really enjoyed sipping this one, and I rate it 4.5 stars outstanding. Once I’m more mature, I’ll probably appreciate something like this even more.


 691 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of caramelized sugar with light oak and some hoppy resinous notes is quite enjoyable. Taste is also a nice mix between some caramelized sugar and solid malt backbone with light oak and some resin-based hops. Hops were probably stronger when the bottle was fresh but still very drinkable. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not something for everyday drinking but well worth drinking.

 525 characters

Photo of davey101
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased on sale for $9.99. Cork came off with a tremendous pop.

A - Dark red/amber body. Huge off-white head that dies down to some dirty scattered foam. Great lacing and retention.

S - Some noticable piney hops and light citrus notes. Sweet caramel malts and brown sugar.

T - Incredibly well integrated. It tastes like a stand alone beer, but at the same time you can pick out notes from each blend. Rich caramel malts and dark brown sugar. Hops are noticable but I have a feeling they have faded. Really smooth and clean mouthfeel. Delicious and not overbearing.

O - An amazing anniversary beer. Its a really well done blended beer and its held up well for the age it has on it. Ill be grabbing a few for the cellar.

 725 characters

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours an orange mahogany brown... cloudy and murky. A three finger kahki head sits gently atop, sagging... and leaving a foamy ring of seafoam lacing all around my DFH signature glass. Damn... I can smell this from a foot away...

S- Orange rind, licorice, caramel malts, cinnamon, earthy wood, and fresh fallen pinecones. Just outstanding!!! I wish I had a bigger nose!!! LOL!!!

T- It all hits you at the same time... Citramel... licorwood... pineamon!!! It's insane that you can taste all three brews in here!!! Love the touch of oak aged Big Foot, spicy Celebration, and clean pine touch of Pale Ale!!! Now this is how you make a blended brew!!! Crisp and citrusy... sweet caramel and wood, and dark fruit and spiciness that make you long for more after each sip!

M- Pine and citrus rip into your palate, sweet caramel and a touch a woodiness follow. Cinnamon, fennel, honey, alcohol and dark fruits liven up the tongue and make your mouth feel alive!

O- Yet another fantastic brew from Sierra Nevada! So much depth of flavor that it's hard to know where each beer ends, and the other begins. I hope Ken and the rest of the brewer's can hear me clapping... because they deserve a standing ovation!!! This is brillance in a bottle!!! I NEED to get some more of this to age!!!

 1,284 characters

Photo of beer2day
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong deep orange gold pour with a frothy 2+ finger head. Not much lace but a decent retention, especially for the style.

Nose is English toffee and brandied cherries. Bit of biscuit malt there too.

More toffee in the taste with even more of that biscuit. Burnt sugar coming on strong later in the glass. Tart finish with a strong alcohol flair. Even more burnt sugar in the finish.

Feel is very thick and syrupy. Lots of body to this one.

Very easy sipper. Not the best time of year to try this one, though.

 514 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel apricot in color with a massive dense white head that leaves globs of sticky lacing.

Aroma is rich caramel, toffee, and brown sugar sweetness. A good bit of orange rind bitterness shows through as well.

Taste is initially malty with more of the generous caramel and toffee from the nose; along with a pleasant apricot fruit quality. There is also a mildly dry woody aspect. Then the green herbal and citrus hop takes over, along with a strong tobacco quality.Finishes with lingering hop bitterness and mild alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is full and chewy. Very nice.

Overall a well rounded brew. The flavor is big and bold, but balanced. Very nice.

 664 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice deep cloudy orange color with a big and thick white head, nice lacing and good retention.

The smell is dominated by oak, toasted malt, and a light bit of spicy hops.

The flavor is surprisingly malty, with layers of big toasted bready malts with subtle oak undertones. Nice waves of spicy hop flavors slowly work there way to the forefront of this flavor onslaught. The flavor is very big and complex with nice layers.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick and viscous with a long resiny finish.

Very nice overall, I really enjoy the depths of flavor of this.

 568 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark amber, tan head, sticky lacing, minimal clarity

S: deep earthy hops, molasses, and oak. Definitely getting a lot of the Bigfoot character, smells very bitter

T: very much like the nose, heavy bitterness, resinous, woody, intense. Tastes like bigfoot on steroids. Balance is decent considering stength

Mf: big body, high carbonation

O: interesting beer, doesn't live up to the price tag.

 398 characters

Photo of DrewShal9
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A: reddish brown body with a thick creamy white head
S: caramel, alcohol, fruits, and surprisingly not much to a hops character as expected with celebration being blended into the bigfoot and pale ale. As this brew warms up, vanilla and some toffee comes forth.
T: tastes as it smells. Pretty damn spectacular! Wish I can save some of these to see how the flavors meld and develop into more complexity!
M: somewhat syrupy yet not thick. Light carbonation
O: delicious stuff. Gotta look for more!

 495 characters

Photo of lnashsig
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been cellaring this for about a year, been really looking forward to trying it with a little age on it. Had it fresh and loved it. Opened up the cork with a loud pop. Poured into my brooklyn snifter, pours a beautiful dark amber color. Thick, frothy head just stays around forever. Smell- caramel, pine, toffee, nice bready aroma. Taste- a nice bitterness on the front of the tongue, sweet vanilla and caramel notes on the side of the tongue. This is just sooo smooth, the age has really done it well. On the end, there is a nice bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel- still plenty carbonated, but has a nice thickness to it (guessing it is from the bigfoot?) that gives it a syrupy feel. Drinkability- 0 alcohol is detected, which is dangerous because this is 9.2%. So smooth, wonderful. I have another bottle, I'm going to give it another year and see what happens.

 864 characters

Photo of gpogo
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Large off-white head. Clear dark amber body, quite nice looking.

A- Lots of citrus and herbal hop aromas. Light caramel malt smell in the background. Just a hint of oak. Lacing was thick, but sparse.

T- Malt flavors dominate the beer. Loads of caramel flavor followed by a woody alcoholic finish. Bitterness throughout the flavor, but malt flavors overpower the bitterness. The alcohol lends quite a bit of warmth to finish.

M- Medium heavy body with low carbonation. Very smooth drinking. With the warm alcohol finish almost seems like a liquor.

D- This is not what I would expect of something labeled, "Grand Cru" That said the description sounds delicious, Oak Aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale, and a fresh Pale Ale blended and dry hopped. I was hoping and looking for a fresh hop flavor and more bitterness, but it was enjoyable.

 838 characters

30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.