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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

769 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 769
Reviews: 463
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 37
Gots: 184 | FT: 5
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: 769 | Reviews: 463 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Darkale
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grand Cru is certainly appropriate. This is a tremendous beer - my clear favorite in Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary lineup, and that is saying something, as its competitors are no slouches.

Khaki head bursts high on the pour then fades, but stops at a quarter-inch and sticks around, becoming a foundation for thick splats of lace. Bright cherry-red color, quite festive.

I think my sample is too cold, and my nose is no champion; to me, the aroma is the least of this beer's virtues; however, perhaps as it warms it will give up more in that regard.

Taste is amazing. This is the best beer I have tasted in the last 12 months. The balance is beautiful: you detect the burning darkness of the Bigfoot; you detect the hint of whiskey; you detect the old-friend friendliness of the Celebration IPA; and you detect a hint of the biscuity pale ale. Merged together, all of these flavors become the chord of one damned happy orchestra.

I am trying to be descriptive, and all I can say is: it's a brisk barley wine.

This beer was expensive, and tomorrow I am going to purchase as many more of them as I can. Another reason why Sierra Nevada must be seen as a proud member of the very first tier of American brewers. Bravo.

Darkale, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of CampusCrew
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: golden, amber, reddish

smell: tons of hop flavor, vanilla from oak

taste: this beer is loaded with hops. very solid double with heavy citrus flavor mixed with oaky vanilla.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: my gosh. talk about hitting a homerun. This is a beer to masterbate over!

CampusCrew, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Mora2000, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of larryi86
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter

A- A deep red, with a brown tint, and a 3 finger off-white head.

S- Pine hops, vanilla, citrus, dark fruits/figs, caramel malts.

T- Complex and well crafted. Pine hops come out right away followed by a nice malt backbone and hints of dark fruit, and a bitter citrus hop finish with a hint of bourbon.

M- A little on the light side, creamy, and a little bit of a burn.

D- This is a great finish to the 30th Anniversary beers. Different and leaves you wanting more. Easy to drink a whole bottle at once.

This is my second favorite of the anniversary beers, my favorite being the Stout. Would really like to see what happens to this with age.

larryi86, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a rich pale and caramel malt scent. It's dry with a touch of sweetness and roasted character. It's also quite bitter and full of citrus hops in the nose. The taste is great as well. Like the bottle indicates, it's a marriage of three very good beers; Oak aged Bigfoot, Celebration, and fresh Pale Ale. It's rich with lots of caramel sweetness and a bit of roasted malt character. The hop taste is outstanding. The citrus appeal provides an intense bitterness that hits you up front and resinates in the finish. Finally, a mild oak character rounds out a very complex taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It's complex and flavorful; a real treat. Happy anniversary!

WesWes, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of Brez07
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a snifter

A: Leaves a 2 finger eggnog colored head on initial pour. Dark cherry red beer sits in the glass with some carbonation rushing upward. Scant lacing throughout

S: Some hops, mostly pine but with some minor fruit. There is some caramel like sweetness. Seems like there is a solid malt backbone to this

T: Dry hopped indeed. Large piney hop presence at first. Almost reminds me of an amber initially. Some caramel and vanilla mix with a touch of oak. Warming alcohol presence in the finish

M: Medium to full bodied. Creamy with a fair amount of carbonation. Residual hop presence left on the tongue

D: This is a great example of a blended beer. Had the hops from the pale, IPA and barleywine. That was smoothed over with malts and some oak aging. The one contention I have is the bottle suggests you could age this - I have no plans to do that

Brez07, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of bgjohnston
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This the the 30th anniversary beer I have been looking for. Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber with a robust tan head that has a lot of staying power. A nice level of carbonation here, too. Smell was piney, but in a muted way.

The first sip is where it's at. This is a smooth and very agreeable beer. Starts out with a vanilla sweetness that progresses to a citrus hoppy finish, but takes its sweet time doing so. There is definitely something at work mellowing this beer out, as all of the beers in the blend, taken individually, are much brighter and more aggressive with the hop bite. With this beer, it's all in there, but I can't get over how smooth and cohesive it is. I have had a couple of these over the past few days, and I keep coming back to how well it tastes: very well put together, and just as it is.

I do feel the alcohol in this one pretty quickly, but that may just mean I have not been drinking big beers as much lately. Still, it is very enjoyable going down.

This is truly a wonderful beer, and well worth the price of admission. Enjoy it for the holidays, as it will all too soon be gone.

bgjohnston, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750mL corked & caged bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish mahogany amber color that produced a great yellowish to tan colored head with great retention as well. Some good lacing here and there too.

(S)- Dry; very dry with some subtle pine and citrus. Has a big woody backbone with some underlying caramel-like fig sweetness, but otherwise a very dry aroma.

(T)- This has a great combo of flavors. A very dry woody pine that turns into a walnut-like nutty oak. Some subtle lemon. Has a really nice underlying fig-like toffee caramel malt background alot like the aroma had. A complex beer.

(M)- This is ridiculously smooth despite its hop dryness and woody bite. That Bigfoot-like background really meshes well with the big dry woody front. Great carbonation level and balance. Definitely does not feel like 9.2% ABV either.

(D)- A delicious and complex beer that really hits the spot for me on this rainy night. I look forward to what a year of age will do to this, but it really hits a homerun fresh.

sweemzander, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of silver0rlead
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a thick and frothy tan head that retains well and leaves impeccable lacing. The aroma has big piney and citrusy hops upfront, along with some caramel and vanilla, toasted bread, fruity esters, oak, and some alcohol. The flavor also starts off with piney and citrusy hops, along with some oak and vanilla, caramel and toffee, fruity esters, toasted bread and alcohol. The mouthfeel is moderate, and drinkability is pretty good. Overall a pretty tasty beer, but really not a whole lot to distinguish itself from SN's numerous other hoppy beers.

silver0rlead, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 12 November 2010 at the "Ithaca Beer Happy Hour" @ Tap and Mallet.

The keg tap for this beer says "22% ale brewed in bourbon barrels, 78% ale; 9.2% ale; 5 GALS." Three ounces poured in non-standard glass. Color is copper-orange. Good head retention, beautiful lacing covers 95% of glass. Aroma is heavy in almond, hops, toffee, NO BOURBON. Taste has fresh pine hops, slight bourbon taste, a little citrus, bitterness of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Medium-bodied. Simple review. Nice brew!

ToAzwethinkweizm, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of hosehead83
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet.
Amber/copper in color, with a thick cloud deck of off-white foam.
Aroma-Piney hops
Taste-Oakey/toasted malt, then big onrush of piney hops. Exceptionally smooth and well-balanced for the strength. Dangerously drinkable, complex and full of character. A veritable celebration of hops. Heady and flavorfull, perfect by the fireside with family and friends. A well-crafted brew without a doubt. get one for now and one for a special occasion in the future. Well done Sierra Nevada! Cheers!!

hosehead83, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of WanderingFool
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grand Cru pours a clear, ruby color into the glass with a big, creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick sheet on the surface and leaves behind a lot of netted lace on the glass.

The aroma is a blend of oak and hops. Notes of pine and orange citrus along with some vanilla are present.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is slick, slightly chewy and gives a fizzy carbonated tingle on the tongue. The flavor is an interesting combination of oak, hops and sweet malt. It begins with orange citrus and pine hoppy notes. In the middle some sweet malt and caramel flavors plus a touch of raisins move in. It finishes bitter with some grassy hop character and notes of oak and vanilla. Dry finish with a slight alcohol burn. Once gone the citrus hops and oak flavor lingers on the palate.

This beer is a sipper. Lots of flavor. It reminds me most of a Bigfoot barleywine.

WanderingFool, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served up a rich dark amber with a light tan head. The head has very nice staying power and leaves pretty sticky lace.

The aroma is bright and hop forward with tons of citrusy cascade character. The other major aroma components are caramel sweetness some pine and just a hint of alcohol.

I expected this to have a pretty interesting flavor, but it still took me by surprise. It is very hoppy, almost like a double IPA, but it has a really nice barley wine like malt character as well with a bit of earthiness. The hops are very grapefruity and piney and definitely call the Celebration ale to mind. The more I sip it seems like the Celebration might have sort of dominated this mix here, though there is a very hard to describe character that I feel like the Bigfoot is adding.

The mouthfeel is medium with a fairly low amount of carbonation. It finishes quite well with a nice dryness and a lingering hop aftertaste.

I think that this beer is really interesting and it definitely has some very nice flavors, but I think that it is perhaps a scenario where the parts are greater than the sum. It seems the Pale Ale is completely lost, the Bigfoot is way in the back and it ends up being kind of like an imperial Celebration ale. Still, this is a cool idea and a fitting way for SN to celebrate their 30th year. Here's to many more.

zoso1967, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of aasher
3.28/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This one poured a reddish brown in appearance, borderline amber, with a thick off white head that took a several minutes to calm down. The smell was dry and hoppy. Others said they smelled flowers, another said hard citrus. The debate was to which vintage of Bigfoot they used. Because it wasn't overly sweet or fruity we thought it was probably a 2010 version of the oak aged Bigfoot. The taste was good but I expected a bit more. It was more dry hopped than anything. It had a little kick from the Celebration but I didn't notice much from the Bigfoot. It gave me cotton mouth a bit. The mouthfeel was disappointing. It looked well carbonated but it drank like it was flat. This was fresh, literally one day off of the truck. This beer would've been ten times better if it had better carbonation and increased complexity. I don't believe this lived up to the anniversary series.

aasher, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of despainmakesbeer
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent deep copperish ruby color. Lasting head, thick light tan color, nice lacing in glass. Moderate malt aroma, slight roastiness present. Small amount of alcohol present in aroma. Malty flavor with a dry bitter hop finish. Fruit present, raisin/plum. Oddly enough, picked up some peach as well. Overall well balanced, some alcohol in finish but fades. Excellent beer to have while putting up the Christmas tree.

despainmakesbeer, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of ElGallo
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a balloon glass. The nose has the hop profile of Celebration, which is very nice. The barrel aging of the Bigfoot dominates the taste up front, and this is not as hop forward a beer as many might have expected. Instead there is a nice balance of malt and oak with the bitterness of the pale ale and the aged Bigfoot. This blends together very nicely and makes for a great sipper when fresh. I can't wait to age a bottle or two. A great finale to the 30th Anniversary XXX Series.

ElGallo, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of ferrari29
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 1 finger white foam formed; moderate lacing on glass; deep red color body; alive with carbonation

S - Fruit and oak tones; flowery (rose) scents; smells like a lot of the ales out there

T - Light fruit taste at the beginning followed by grapefruit sourness; taste washes over tongue and turns in to a hop bitterness (doesn't last long though)

M - Creamy viscosity; mild carbonation over tongue; well-built with a good balance of fruits and malts

D - Another quality high-end beer; lacking a lot of the front-end flavor I'm looking for in a grand cru; light flavor; only one glass per sitting for me

ferrari29, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep orange color with good carbonation and a nice white head.

S: Nose is floral hops. some oak

T: Big SN Pale Ale influence here. Still trying to find the Bigfoot influence...a little bit of Celebration. I have had aged Bigfoot, Oaked Bigfoot and Bourbon Bigfoot..where is this in the Grand Cru? If it were a blind taste test I would say it is Oak aged Pale Ale blend with Celebration, thats what I would get.

M: Nice, very hoppy, dry hopping is evident, medium bodied despite the booze and blend

D: Good. Great price for the beer indeed but man, I wanted something bigger since it boasted about Bigfoot

barleywinefiend, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Lornee56
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared this beer with one of the foremost beer afficionados in south central Pennsylvania John "Jay" Miller. Poured it into a glass and drank the beer.

Of the 4 beers in the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary collection (Imperial Stout, Helles Lager, and Black Barleywine)...this was by far the best, and quite possibly one of the best beers I have had this year. The balance of this three beer blend was impressive. The taste was sweet, malty, and hoppy, but the hops came in at the end. Bought two bottles and would buy a case if I come across it again. I was very happy to ingest this beer and suggest buying it.

Lornee56, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful burgundy color with a two-finger head into my glass. Some lacing is present as well.

Aroma is a decent mix of grassy, floral and slightly citrus hops. It certainly contains characteristics of oak-aged bigfoot, celebration and SNPA.

Taste? A whirlpool of oak, grassy hops, floral hops and bold malt. Very delicious. Alcohol shows in the middle but is not overpowering. In fact, I don't think this ale could get any more balanced than it is.

As for the mouthfeel, there's a good hint of oak followed by a decent amount of hops that linger. Very warming and deceptive!

I couldn't have asked for anything better than this. I'm going to buy another bottle to age, because even if the hops do fade, it has an excellent background just waiting to be exposed through proper aging.

Brad007, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of wedge
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep translucent amber with a beautiful, thick, lumpy yellowish head. Great retention leaving clumpy lacing. Smells of green, floral hops and citrus zest with an oaky edge. Smooth, dark hoppy flavor. Big, creamy, and lightly woody...sugary caramel, spicy citrus, lots of sticky pine. A little alcohol shows itself, but it seems to work with the pine. Still seems fairly aggressive at this young age. Creamy medium-plus body, bitter, a bit hot. I think if this could smooth out with just a little age, it could be great.

wedge, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a huge head of off white/yellow that doesn't want to go away.

Well smells like a Sierra Nevada beer. Piney, earthy malts with hints of grass and flowers. Some slight citrusy aromas with a copious amount of toffee and caramel malts and some dried stone fruits and hints of vanilla and oak.

Nice beer and again total Sierra Nevada kind of like when you here the first lick of guitar in a Smashing Pumpkins song the tone gives them away every time. The bigfoot shows through in the middle through the finish with oak on the finish and oak tannins long into the finish. Sweet toffee, date, prune, and raisiny aspects that turn into grassy, etheral hops then some citrusy notes. Well balance with good mouthfeel. I would have liked to seen this as a blend bourbon barrel aged at the finish.

mcallister, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of Casey10
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got ahold of this one have been waiting to try it for some time since first hearing about the series and it does not dissapoint either.

A - Frothy head ruby hued body plenty of carbination clear body.

S - spice notes, light oak.

T - oak come s through and definately the bigfoot comes through here. I dare say balanced as is not overly hoppy and keeps a nice background of malt.

M - warming gives a nice tingle after drinking really nice.

D - Really a must have for any craft drinker well done by Sierra Nevada get at least 2 one for now and one for another time I know I can't wait to try one aged.

Casey10, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of hopsbreath
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with tulipsnifter, we split this into our matching pair of Sierra Nevada XXX snifters.

Dark mahogany on the pour with a big frothy yellow pine head that never gives up its cap at any point. Copious amounts of crazy lacing gives this a perfect score! Off to a fantastic start!

Caramel malts, citrus hops, and sweet cherries, all play second fiddle to the copious amount of wood on the nose.

Mmmmm, this beer has wood. Bittering hops, sweet biscuit, vanilla, and some Snickers candy bar about cover the flavor profile.

Medium bodied, lowly carbonated, and a sticky finish make this a winner.

This was gone in an instant! Yet another winner from SN. Nobody else so consistently puts out so many high quality products for such a great value. Life long customer here.

hopsbreath, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of TulipSnifter
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This is a dark reddish beer with a thick frothy head, and an incredible lacing.
Smell: Malts and a hint of wood.
Taste: It's woody, hoppy, and bitter.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with some carbonation.
Drinkability: Tasty but this would be a slow drinker.

TulipSnifter, Nov 12, 2010
30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.