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

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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by GratefulBeerGuy on 11-04-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 465 | Ratings: 799
Photo of bsp77
4.66/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of BigB415
4.66/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours amber color into my wine glass(all beer glasses are in the dishwasher) with really heavy lacing and a huge head. The only way the lacing will come off is if I rub it with my finger. Smell of fruit and a little alcohol. Taste of hops go down easily. This is one of the smoothest strong ales I have ever had which I'm not complaining about. A good sipper. This complex anniversary ale hides the 9.2% ABV. This may be the first Sierra Nevada I actually like. $9.99 is the only "gripe" I have with this beer but it's understandable because it's a 30th anniversary brew that is a one time thing.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a nice ruby red amber with a moderate head and nice lacing. Hoppy, malty aroma. Mmm. Malt, intense hops, and oak all well integrated. Creamy heavy body. A beautifully made beer that almost defies categories. I really like this. What a great finale for an excellent series.

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Photo of ToddT
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Clear light brown amber color topped with a fluffy off white head. Head falls slowly to a ring and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

S- Pine, grass, pineapple, and grapefruit hops in a nice balance, nothing too overwhelming or dominating in the nose..

T- Complete showcase of the hops, grapefruit, pine and grass all in perfect balance, nice fruit, pineapple and orange, round out the main flavors. There are some caramel and malt notes in the middle and a somewhat bitter finish to this one. Finish is dry and lingering.

M- Medium in body and good carbonation. For all of the hops in this there is a clean feeling to the finish and not oily hop residue.

D- I could sit and drink this all day but at 9.2% ABV it probably would not be a good idea. This is so drinkable to everyone, what a great beer.

Wow, is all I can say, this is easily the best of the four anniversary beers.

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Photo of STEG
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark honey colored hue, 3 finger very fine bubbled creamy looking off white head. Could use some lacing, but I'm being too critical.

Smells of earthy hops, damp wood, caramel, and a slight spruce tone.

Taste begins moderately hoppy and then shows its barrel character off. Well balanced with many stages of flavors and really allows all three beers to show through nicely.

Light mouthfeel given the style and abv, a hard to describe almost airy feeling carbonation stays throughout the experience.

Extremely balanced, with a nice flavor and a mouthfeel that allows it to be easy drinking

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Photo of hosehead83
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
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!!

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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

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

A: Fairly deep red color. The cool thing about this beer was the head. Really defined individual bubbles. Reminded me of a cask pull at the end of the cask. The lacing was fairly sticky and thick.

S: The nose really is a melange of the beers that went into this. You smell the piney resiny hop notes of celebration. The sweetness of the pale ale compared to everything else. Then the big hops and slight booze of bigfoot all the while the oak is holding all of it together. The dry hopping just kept everything nice and fresh. I would say that if you had to pick one beer that dominated the nose it would be Bigfoot but Celebration is right up there as those piney hops will not let yo forget.

T: I was surprised they got the complexity out of this that they did. Basically three similar beers but they really nailed it. Just like the nose you can taste the individual components but the sum is definitely greater than the parts. The oak is really what makes this beer and tied it all together. It sure it hoppy but it is never really just bitter. Lots of flavor without that which is a hard balance to achieve.

M: Just right. Not quite thin but never thick or a burden to drink at any point. Very soft carbonation.

D: They really need to make all of these 30th anniversary beers year round. This is no exception to that. Never thought it would be this good. Well done.

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Photo of kingjames1
4.6/5  rDev +10%
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...

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.6/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Grand Cru

Appearance: deep red, some good lacing and a medium large head.

Smell: sweet malts, some hops, and a floralness with a slight alcohol tinge.

Taste: malty pine cone goodness, some hop flavor, and a subtle sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium and very smooth.

The cork created a large pop, but didn't prove for the beer to be heavily carbonated. This is just wonderful. I love the balance between the malts, hops, and sweetness. I believe this would be a great after-dinner brew.

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Photo of smorris291
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bomber. Tremendous pop from the champagne cork, but not too carbonated. Amber in color with a hint of orange and a nice head. Lacing is impressive.

Was fascinated to try this...had never had the Bigfoot, but love the SN Pale Ale and Celebration. Initial taste contains the oak from the bigfoot, which turns to the hoppiness of the celebration and balance of the pale ale. Delicious and unique. Carbonation is spot on. Drinkability isn't perfect, with 9.2% alc, but this is a wonderful dinner/after dinner beer.

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Photo of drcarver
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would like to start that I have never been a fan of Sierra Nevada but this beer is extraordinary.

A - Medium brown/tawny clear color with a 1 inch fluffy off white head. The head contained an array of carbonation bubble sizes and its retention lasted the entire pour.

S - citrus notes are heavy with hints of pine toward the end. at first blush it smells like an imperia ipa

T/M - boy was i wrong. clean and crisp right off the bat. no citrus notes pull through and a little pine, sadly (but not surprisingly neither does the oak). the malt and hop perform a well balanced waltz from quaff to quaff. little aftertaste to hang around.

D - Went down smoothly and the 9.2 is well masked behind the rich and complex flavors in the brew. Good job and congrats

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Photo of Darkale
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of JoePat
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark amber/brown with a light kaki head that slowly dissipates with massive lacing.

I get a lot from this beer. Very clean with huge citrus hops, caramel malts, orange peel?.

I get a lot of sweet caramel, buscuit, spicey, citrus hops, floral. A very clean malty flavor almost maple syrup like.

This has a smooth silky mouthfeel that just rolls over the tongue. Way too drinkable for a 9% beer. This beer is a true Grand Cru.

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Photo of Chaney
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, perhaps I tried to open this too fast. The cork launched and hit the ceiling with gusto!

A: Pours a dark, blood red color with mild cloudiness. I had to wait for the head to die down for a while because my giant snifter was damn near half full with suds. Mucho carbonation!

S: Nice nose, with the Pale Ale taking the lead over the Bigfoot. Is that really possible? The scent is very subdued considering this thing is dry-hopped. I have a hunch that this is just the calm before the storm.

T: Once again, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on steroids. The distinct taste of the PA hit the palate first, followed by a palate-filling caramel backbone (ala Bigfoot), and a nice oaky smoothness on the finish. The overall bitter elements just scream C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.I.O.N...A.L.E. Complex!

M: The oak mellowed out the bitterness and then some. I didn't detect any booze throughout the session and the sweetness was kept in check. I've noticed throughout the years that Sierra Nevada is very good about balancing out the would-be sweet elements of their stuff.

D: As I got into the session, I really started to notice how remarkable this brew was. Sierra took three beloved beers of theirs and wrote a love note involving all three to the fans. Simply awesome!

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Photo of merlin48
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of Shaw
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had a sample of this in November 2010, so I was happy to find bottles on the shelf in my local Total Wine & More in April 2011. Knowing this beer's strength, I don't think a few months will have hurt it.

Pours a glowing amber in color with a huge sea-foam-like head that doesn't vanish. Fantastic.

It smells like Bigfoot: herbal hops with a sweet malt note. I think I also can detect the bourbon barrels, even though the label says barrel-aged beer make up 22 percent of the total.

The bourbon flavors are more apparent in the taste, and they play well with the big herbal and citrus hop flavors. But this isn't boozy like other barrel-aged beers I've had. I'm just noticing flavors of vanilla, which I'm guessing are coming from the barrels?

This is a bitter beer, too, but not as bitter as straight Bigfoot. The aging and blending have softened that aspect.

Perfect body: Smooth but hefty. Glides like a milkshake over my palate.

Overall this is an outstanding beer and an absolute must-try for fans of bigger beers. Seek it out.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured into a goblet.

Pours a very thick creamy head on top of an reddish orange body.

Beautiful smell of citrus, sweet woody vanilla. Smell reminds me of cigar city jai alai white oak.

Taste is initially really good. The blend marries the bigfoot strength, the celebration, hoppiness, and the pale ale lightness. I expected such a complicated beer to be cloying and overly sweet, but it is not.

Mouthfeel is good, but overall this is an exceptional beer. Easily the best of the four.

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

A - Pours an awesome mahogany with some unbelievably thick off white head. This head takes days to subside, and never really leaves.

S - Smells exactly like it is billed. A good amount of Bigfoot, some Celebration, and SNPA. An awesome smell, a lot like a very hoppy smelling barleywine.

T - A lot like the smell. This is a delicious beer that couldn't be described better by SN's own description of it. Tastes a lot like a hoppy smelling barleywine, like it smells.

M - Not a ton of carbonation, which I like. A surprisingly clean finish on the tongue.

Overall, this is one of my favorite beers that SN makes, if not one of my favorite beers in a while. Good work, SN.

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

Pours a beautiful amber color...copper when held to a bright light. Nice thick, off white head. the head falls to about a 1/8" cap that leaves sheets of lacing.

The aromas are nicely balanced...the hops are part of the beer, not the beer. Wood and pine are the first scents I detect, then comes toffee and biscuits. Complex but subtle its hard to discern any one scent, though I can make out the the beers that went into this treat.

Wow, I can really taste the bigfoot and the celebration ale. The hops complement but do not steal the show. I tatse grapes and plums, green and black tea, pecans, pine, vanilla, biscuits. It is sweet and herbal with just a tinge of bitterness. It has a slight earthy / peat-like aftertaste. As it warms the bitterness begins to shine through a bit more.

Not too heavy, not to light. It is delicately carbonated. This beer washes across my tongue leaving only pleasantness in its path. My lips stick to the glass.

One fine beer! I could drink this till there was no more.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from my notes. I realized recently that I never posted this review; I had this beer at the Great Lost Bear's Sierra Nevada Anniversary celebration event in November 2010.

A: Pretty ruby liquid. Egg shell foam with some good lacing. Inside the glass it looks still; there's no rising carbonation.

S: Oaky malts and pine hops. A touch of alcohol. Caramelized candi sugar sweetness.

T: Tastes very much like a blend of it's three components. So interesting! Very malty and hoppy. Bitter pine hops, a little citrus. Somewhat oily. The malts are one the darker and sweeter side. The sweetness is sticky. Long after I swallow, a powdered chocolate flavor appears. The ABV is fairly well hidden.

M: Full bodied. Hops provide a lot of tingle--makes up for the low levels of carbonation. Big sweet and bitter coat. No burn from the alcohol.

D: I am really enjoying this beer. I would drink a whole 750ml bottle of this easily, except that it is so good I want to share it with others. Sure it is strong and hoppy, but it works very well. After it is gone, I am going to miss this beer.

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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!!!

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Photo of grittybrews
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened with a vigorous pop and poured four fingers of long-lasting eggshell head. Rather dark mahogany color with a ruby tinge and excellent clarity. Aroma of grapefruit, orange zest, and toasty caramel.

Moderate carbonation and a chewy, resinous mouthfeel. Biscuity caramel up front followed by oak, vanilla, and a hint of smoke. Lots of grapefruit hop presence on the finish.

Great balance and very tasty with just a touch of alcohol warmth. Nice progression of flavors with a hint of Pale Ale up front, a nice Bigfoot backbone, and a strong Celebration finish.

I enjoyed this bottle fresh and have two more to age, but this brew was really well-executed and I hope to pick up a few more.

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Photo of Florida9
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear deep brown-red in color. Forms an extra large, big bubbled, tan head. Excellent retention and lots of lacing.

S: Grapefruit, oak, and pine. Some caramel malt.

T: Interestingly, this beer starts with a peppery bite, before the slightly sweet caramel malt comes into play. Then flavors of grapefruit and citrus, with a moderately resiny, spicy bitterness on the finish. Very tasty.

M: On the heavier side of medium with appropriate carbonation.

D: A very good blend of three fine beers, that offers an nice balance of malt, hops, spice and alcohol. And despite it's assertive flavors, I found this one to be a very easy drinker.

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 799 ratings.
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