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

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru
807 Ratings
30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 807 |  Reviews: 465
Reviews by EgadBananas:
Photo of EgadBananas
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, cloudy ruby/mahogany color with a frothy, slight tan head of about 2-3 fingers. Spongy lacing streams down the side.

The complexity of the aroma is nearly mind-boggling. Slightly sweet caramel, with a big oak woodiness, intense, spicy hops in the back, with hints of crisp citrus, earthy pine, and sweet buttery breads.

While the aroma favored the oaked Bigfoot, the taste seems to favor the PA/IPA side more. Strong bitterness bum rushes at the start, moving to slightly sweet citrus before being hit by some noticeably boozyness. It then mellows out to those slightly sweet, earthy oak characters. I know that the majority of this is comprised with hoppy brews, but I had hoped that the strong bigfoot would even things out a bit more. White still great and wonderfully unique, I don't think it achieved perfect synergy.

The feel is solid medium in bodied, a bit of carbonation, slightly creamy and slick, and totally smooth.

Drinkability is solid as well.

I'll definitely be holding on to the rest of my bottles for a few years and see how this baby changes!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of wspscott
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip

A: Dark red/ruby color, crystal clear with a huge off-white head that leaves a ton of lace. The head eventually drops tp a thin film, but never completely disappears. This is a very pretty beer.
S: A definite wood character (somewhat refreshing that it is not bourbon soaked wood). Somewhat surprised that this is dry-hopped given that the aroma is somewhat restrained.
T: Sharp hoppy bitterness in front along with a woody tannic bit on the back of the tongue. As it warms, the citrus hops become more apparent, as well as some bourbon. The bourbon character is mostly vanilla and wood without the overwhelming whiskey/alcohol that some barrel aged beers have. No sign of alcohol, somewhat surprising.
M: Round and creamy mouthfeel combined with tingly carbonation, a little bit of graininess. Very nice.
D: This is a rich/big beer that is surprisingly easy to drink. I really like this beer, it has a great mix of hops and bourbon-barrel character, neither one is overwhelming, they just blend in to a cohesive whole. I need to pick up a couple more to see how the next year or two changes things. Highly recommended. Taken as a whole, it is hard for me to see how this could be improved. I guess if I was forced, I would ask for a more "obvious" hop aroma, but that is a small thing.

Sierra Nevada, please make this a regular offering, say a replacement for Anniversary Ale. Probably the best of the 3 XXX beers I have had, but I will have to compare to the stout.

 1,499 characters

Photo of mhaugo
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Frozenmoses
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ccrida
3.23/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my Church Brew Works cervoise, Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary Grand Cru is auburn with an off-white head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is oxidized malt, some spicy hops, a hint of sawdust. I understand that the bigfoot is 'aged', but I wonder how long - this smells like a 3-5 year old barleywine, malt wise, but with *slightly* brighter hops.

Taste is oaky American barleywine, old enough to be oxidized, but still pretty hot. Has a nice hop presence still, certainly not fresh DIPA territory, but would have been close on fresh release. I dunno, just really not doing a lot for me, lacking elegance, perhaps would age well, but then, what would be the difference from regular bigfoot, just a little wood?

Mouthfeel is very dry and resinous, a bit thick, medium heavy bodied.

Drinkability is okay, this one really didn't do it for me. Perhaps an awkward stage, between stale DIPA and young American barleywine, my biggest concern is the early oxidation gives it an 'aged' taste without the rounded benefits.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25.4oz bottle. Pours a deep reddish brown color with a huge frothy head that stays around for awhile. Insane lacing. Great aroma of piney hops, alcohol, and oak. Flavor is outstanding. This certainly tastes like Bigfoot but also has some oak and pale ale qualities to it. A great hoppy bitterness to this thing. I was awaiting this beer the most after reading about the 4 30th Anniversary and I would have to say that it is the best.

 433 characters

Photo of SebD
4.25/5  rDev +1%
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!

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update 1/1/11

Amazing hop smell like the freshest SNPA ever and then a hint of Celebration, fantastic. This is a very good blend.

750ml bottle that cost $15 which is $5 more than the rest of the country is paying apparently. Looks orange-amber, decent bubbly head which come to think of it SN beers always have good carbonation. Smells oaky, hoppy, complex. Tastes like a woody Bigfoot and I can definitely taste the celebration, no hint of the pale ale but this was pretty good. Too bad the stores/distributors marked up the price..

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

A - Pours to a two finger tan head. Body has a rich amber or reddish brown tint. Cloudy with no visible particulate. Beautiful lacing clings to the glass.
S - Subtle floral overtones.
T - An exceptional beer. Not real overpowering hoppiness but a satisfying hoppy bitterness that lingers on the tongue. Floral, smokey and grapefruity.
M - Clean effervescent and refreshing.
D - An exceptional beer. The ABV is not evident as it goes down smooth. It's no wonder this is a nice beer as reading the label indicates that it consists of a blend of some of Sierra's best ales which include Bigfoot, Celebration, and their Pale ale.

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

750 ml bottle pured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber with a solid head. Good retention and a fair amount of lacing. Looks great.

S: Citrus, grapefruit and pine hop aromas are most noticeable, balanced nicely with caramel malts. Not too much alcohol.

T: A wonderful combination of classic Sierra Nevada hop flavors. Citrusy and piney with a great balance of malt. Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming. A tiny amount of oak adds a nice touch. Smooth and delicious, lingers just long enough.

F: Medium carbonation. Very smooth and creamy with just the right amount of warming. On the higher end of what I would consider to be medium bodied.

D: Much more drinkable than I expected for the ABV. The beer seems to be dominated much more by the celebration and pale ales than the bigfoot. Wouldn't have more than a bomber, but that's no problem.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rich mahogany with a slight chill haze, a wooden sleigh through the white-capped mountains. Monstrous drifts of snow pile high and leave swaths of lace everywhere, the flurries sticking to our eyelashes...
Maple-syrup-bourbon, pass the flask... the peculiarly wintry air aroma with huge notes of evergreens and citrus, careening along as the bells ring and we smile at one another, huddling together against the biting wind.
The warmth of the bourbon tingles the back of the throat, a beautiful maple sweetness with the mahogany smell of the freshly stained sleigh, a birthday-present, the gift of hours of joy, the lovely bourbon capping of the flavour and combining with the harsh grapefruit and evergreen sap... a woody, maple finish with some lively warmth that courses down and keeps the wind and the jostling from freezing you to the core...
Warm, and creamy... sweet and dry and bitter mildly carbonated, and warming and tingling and woodish...
This beer is grand. This will doubtless age as well as your memories, would be a lovely one to share as you sit around the fire in twenty years and talk to your children of evergreens and snow, of sleigh-rides on a wintry afternoon... This is the best of the series. Excellent.

 1,231 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from a pint glass.

A: This beer pours with a foamy off-white head and is dark honey in color.

S: Hops, as expected the primary smell are of hops.

T: This beer is upfront with with a little hop bite, but is backed by a strong malt backbone. The Bigfoot really comes through in this beer, as well as the Celebration Ale. Delicious!

M: This beer is a little thick, but not syrupy. It has moderate carbonation, and is smooth.

D: Due to the two big beers in this blending (Celebration and Bigfoot), plus the dry-hopping, I would be hard-pressed to drink more than a bomber of this in a sitting.

 600 characters

Photo of MasterMustace
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Pencible
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear copper with fluffy tan head.
S: It smelled like strong citrus zest and resiny hops, with a bit of sweet sugary malt and dry oak.
T: It tasted like strong pine and citrus zest, with some earthy dry oak and sweet caramel malt. It had a lasting clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was oily and slick with ample carbonation. Nice full body, but bubbly.
D: This was once of the better hoppy beers from Sierra Nevada, but still not as complex as expected. It had good scent and taste, and great body. It also hid the alcohol well, so it was pretty easy to drink. I'm guessing it will age similar to Bigfoot, so I definitely put a couple in my cellar. A well done brew while fresh, but not top tier. Hopefully with time it will become excellent.

 760 characters

Photo of miadw3
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of jnn4v
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: coppery brown beer. Some reddish brown hues. Almost like honey. Very ample and thick foamy head.

S: Very sappy pine branches, grapefruit, juicy citrus blend, subtle guava undertone, and a malty candied background.

T: lots of oak right up front. Good pine, grapefruit, lemon zest, copper, more oak, raw sugar, and some generally earthy notes.

M: bountiful and luscious. The abundant and fine carbonation from the bottle conditioning serve this beer well.

D: Relatively low ABV and good balance of flavors combined with excellent mouthfeel make this a very drinkable beer. Well done.

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Photo of atr2605
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a nice brown amber with an off white creamy head with great retention
S-caramel, biscuit, oatmeal
T-dry biscuit flavor up front followed by a creamy and rich caramel flavor
M-medium-full bodied
O-A really nice beer that has great balance and flavor and hides the abv pretty well.

 287 characters

Photo of spark3148857
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a brandy snifter to concentrate the nose. Clear, dark, garnet amber body with an ample tan head that lasts, leaving puffy clouds of lace on the glass.

Nose is volatile, rich, and complex. Coffee and toffee, dark fruit, spice, juniper berries/green peppercorn, piney hops, alcohol.

An aggressive beer, tastes of charred malt, dark chocolate, wood and vanilla, with a bitter resinous piney hoppy finish, along with juniper berries. Nice battle going on between the sweet and bitter elements, but the bitter wins in the end. Like a bitter dark chocolate torte. It is a little boozy and provides a warm glow.

Mouthfeel is moderately full and creamy.

A bit intense in flavor and alcohol, and the juniper berry spice/hops are pretty strong, but nicely integrated and that is what makes this a complex, interesting beer. I think it is similar to last year's Anchor Christmas ale (which used juniper berries), but more balanced. A good winter warmer. This is a beer to lay down awhile and let mellow.

 1,012 characters

Photo of jmfc8237
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark caramel color with off white Stoney head. Good head retention and syrupy legs. Huge amount at grapefruit and pine give a swoopy backlash to the malt charachters. Had a bit of earthiness to it as well. Tasted like a sweet malted milk dud with huge amounts of bitter hops. Overall the nose leads into the taste well and has a wonderful mouthfeel.

 358 characters

Photo of TXhomebrewer
4/5  rDev -5%

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

Grand Cru is a really attractive copper color. Very clean and clear. Backlighting gives it a distinct garnet appearance. A full, frothy head covers the top. It's off-white in color, and is extremely slow to recede. Lacing is very sticky and thick.

While the nose is good, it isn't quite as strong as it should be. It is sweet and features a nice caramel malt scent up front. No doubt about the base. Hops are strong in the mix. They're piney and feature citrus grapefruit, pineapple, and orange notes. Honestly, this smells more balanced than I expected (especially with the dry hopping). Alcohol is a little noticeable, but it's not overly strong. Smells good, but more muscle would help.

The flavor really delivers. Caramel malts are sweet and full of flavor. They anchor things down nicely. Hops are more aggressive here. Not a big shock. They're piney and feature the usual hop flavors (grapefruit, orange, and pineapple). It falls on the bitter side of the fence, but not by much. The malt base really does provide more balance than you might expect. Secondary flavors very light dark fruit and even lighter oak and vanilla. The presence of oak aged Bigfoot isn't overwhelming. Damn tasty beer nonetheless. Alcohol is blended well and isn't hot or warming. Finishes sweet, a little bitter, and dry.

Grand Cru has a medium body that leans full. Carbonation is light, and it does down very smooth. It has a nice feel, but I wouldn't mind a few more bubbles. Drinkability is good. I really like the flavor of this. It is a little hefty at 9.2%, but a 750 ml bottle shouldn't be much of a problem.

It's quite a 30th Anniversary year for Sierra Nevada. All four of these anniversary releases have been good. This one is probably my favorite, but it isn't far ahead of the Black Barleywine or the Stout. How bad could a dry-hopped mix of oak-aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale, and the classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale possible be??? It's not. In fact, it's damn good. I don't know the exact proportions of each beer are, but I would've liked a little more oak-aged Bigfoot. The nose could also use a few more amps, but that's all nitpicking. This is great beer. Grab a bottle or two. Happy 30th! Thanks for a great year, Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ROGUE16
5/5  rDev +18.8%

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 807 ratings