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: 801
Photo of psuKinger
2.44/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

25.4 ounce bottle, corked and caged, poured into a pislner glass because that's what my parents had available. Poured out before Easter dinner.

A: Big, frothy, 2-finger off-white head sits on top of a hazy amber beer. The cork popped with a lot carbonation, and carbonation is readily visible rising from the bottom of this glass. (4.5)

S: A kind of candied-sugar sweetness in the nose that reminds me a bit of a belgian dark. Interesting. But I'm not picking up any dark fruits or roastiness, which leaves me a bit confused here (3.0)

T: I don't want to rush to conclusions here, but my initial thought here is that of a letdown. It's simple, sugary, without a lot of complexity and lacking balance. Maybe some hop bitterness on the back end, but not nearly enough. There's no roasty flavors here, there's no "dark fruits" accompanying the belgian sweetness that I like, and there's not much of anything in the way of flavoring hops. There's just not much here that I *love* in my beer. Cloyingly sweet, with hints of vanilla and maybe some oak, but nothing to keep the sugars in check. 2.0

M: Creamy but a bit thin in the mouth. This beer does have a lively carbonation to it. 3.5

D & O: Drinkability is very low here for me. Overall, I am unimpressed. I don't particularly want to finish this glass, much less the remainder of this bomber. 1.5

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Photo of erikdwallace
2.7/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A bit of a disappointment for me. I like most of the Sierra Nevadas I've had in the past and the flavor of this beer was off. I felt like there was too much going on and the balance of the hops didn't suit my taste.

Sampled during the Winter 2010 tasting, brought by Karl.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.83/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Promising start to this one. Pours a glossy chestnut reddish/brown. Off white head is a mix of soapiness and rocks. Sticky lacing is scattered.

Dark cherry, alcohol, leather, baked caramel in the nose. Some sweet and spice here and there. No off aromas, nothing strong.

Alcohol breaks up the flavors to me. Dark cherries and leather come and go. The flavors actually come more around 2 sec after swallow. Somewhat spicy, very boozy. Leather and spice, both light. Carbonation whisks away most substance and alcohol buries it.

Maybe this one could use some age. Right now, at least, it's a tough sell.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3/5  rDev -28.2%
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.

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Photo of OttoPeeWee
3.2/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clearly this is a good looking brew. Great head, retention, and lacing. The smell is good with raisin, prune, sherry, and some citrus from the hops. The taste was somewhat of a mess for me. The bourbon barrel flavors didn't fit well with the bitterness of the hops. It also seemed too carbonated for the amount of alcohol which made the brew too boozy for my liking. It is an interesting direction I think the recipe needs some modification and the style needs to drink more like a good bourbon.

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Photo of ccrida
3.23/5  rDev -22.7%
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 mverity
3.24/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an amber brown with a bit of orange. Medium tan collar and the head was either non-existent or faded so quickly that I didn't see it by the time it was handed to me. Aroma is boozey, really overly woody, brown sugar. Medium body and very low carbonation . Taste is of raisin, toffee, and some of that woodiness present in the aroma. Taste is more of a barley wine than grand cru.

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Photo of chumba526
3.27/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears medium bodied red with an off white head.

It smells a tad bit smoky, a bit of roasted malts. It also smells a bit hoppy: I get citrus and grassy notes.

It tastes smooth I get a subdued hoppy citrus flavor. There is a mild oaky flavor and a caramel like malty flavor. The flavors are pretty smooth but the beer does not "wow" me in anyway.

There is a smooth and creamy carbonation to the beer.

Overall a decent beer it is smooth but I feel this beer is a bit overpriced (glad I did not buy a bottle). It is a solid beer but I could do without ever drinking it again.

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Photo of aasher
3.28/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

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Photo of BigE90
3.3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a sniffer, 40 deg to start, 55 finish, 1 finger foam, good carbonation

A: Great looking deep/dark amber

S: Slight hop aroma, nothing over powering

T: A little bitter hops pow at the start then just a suttle flavor towards the finish. Not a lingering aftertaste but you know you are drinking not your average beer

M: Focused on the back of the tongue, no taste of alcohol, just a slight bitter hops flavor

O: Ok beer with my taste, definitely taste better warmer, takes the edge of the hops in my opinion. Would drink again but not one that I would gravitate towards.

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Photo of beancounter
3.3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Amber to ruby. Gentle pour yielded a 5 finger head that stayed and stayed. Decent amount of carbonation.

S-Flora hops, mild sweet malt.

T-Hop bitterness with some oak at the end. That's it.

M-Medium...but a bit thin for this style.

D-All I'm tasting is hop bitterness. My mouth feels cottony. It has a very boring one dimension flavor that I'm loosing interest in quickly. After tasting such great beers like Celebration, I was expecting a lot more from the anniversary series. Chalk it up to another big beer selection not to waste my money on.

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Photo of MarkyMOD
3.33/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was completely oxidized, was really looking forward to popping this one, but it was the most disappointing beer I've had. Bought six months ago from a shop with all refrigeration, then cellared at 55 degrees. Almost feel bad about reviewing this after seeing reviewers who loved it two years later, but the rating I'm giving this beer is generous, saw many others pour this out after passing it around. This is my first full review, had been planning to start reviewing for awhile, but I think the disappoint drove me to finally do it, at least something good came from this beer.
P.S. Was told it was amazing fresh, but that same person thought it lost a lot two months later.

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Photo of rye726
3.39/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok Sierra Nevada, next time instead of wasting my time and money, you can just bottle BA Bigfoot and we'll call it even.

Had no intention of trying this, or any of this series for that matter. Sierra Nevada's agenda seems to have gone from brewing good beer to marketing over priced, sub par products. Their only decent beer these days is Bigfoot.

But this was knocked down from $15 to $10, so I gave it a try. However, had this beer been $10 originally, it would still be over priced. There is no reason this should cost more than $7 or $8.

However, this is one of the best looking beers I've seen in a long time. Dark reddish brown with a silky beige head. Excellent lace.

Nose is a mostly uninteresting blend of hops, malt, booze and oak. As is the taste. Medium body drinks well enough. Simple, lacks innovation.

Lacks complexity, they should have barrel aged the whole blend. I doubt they barrel aged anything, seems more like oak chips.

Low pour, as were all the other bottles I saw at the shop.

Sierra Nevada used to be cool when I could get freshy bottles of Harvest for $3. Now they kind of suck, except for Bigfoot of course.

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Photo of bobhits
3.39/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Three beers dry hopped and mixed together is a grand crue?

Ok we'll see what's going on.

Poured into a Sierra Nevada Anniversary glass. A massive out of control head, takes multiple pours to fill the glass.

Smells of citrus hops, deep caramel malt, a touch of spice (cinnamon), and a bit of a buttery mellow aroma I can only assume is from the oak aging.

Redish amber, dark, hue with a lot of bubbles pouring up. A head so thick, creamy, and stout that it's amazing.

This is an interesting beer. There's a very bitter funky finish. Citrus hops up front. A malt that is between thick and sweet but somewhat odd. I wish sierra didn't tell us what' in the beer, because I am picking up the spices and malt from the celebration as well as the malt and body from the big foot. I'm not sure what other than maybe the carbonation is coming from the pale ale, but given those two beers I wouldn't expect to.

This beer has a killer alcohol kick, thick body, and well it burns a touch from the hops.

I both like and dislike this beer. I love how bitter it is. I just don't feel the beer works together. Oh and style? I have no clue what to say about the name or style.

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Photo of 1Adam12
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

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Photo of coachdonovan
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Honestly I thought Grand Cru was usually a Belgian style, but I'm psyched to see this as a combination of three all-timers: PA was one of my first craft loves, Celebration is an annual classic, and Bigfoot has recently helped turn me on to barleywines. No date on the bottle but this should be about five months old based on the release date.

Big pop of the cork with gunsmoke drifting out of the bottle, this pours a ever-so-slightly-hazy reddish amber with off-white lace that sticks around forever. Aroma has hints of Celebration but that takes a back seat to some strong medicinal alcohols. I'm surprised that the hops aren't as prominent, but then again I'm not having this fresh.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky as I'd expect from this style and abv. The fresh hops of Celebration and Pale Ale lead the way, but again the alcohol isn't quite hidden enough. I hardly get any of the dark fruit and/or caramel sweetness from the barleywine side of things. Drinkability takes a hit as the booze burns.

Maybe my timing was off with this one- not fresh enough to get all the hops, but not aged long enough to let it cool off. Oh well. For me, it certainly comes well behind the 30th anniversary stout and barleywine. The oak certainly adds a twist, but it's not for the better.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at Rick's in Alexandria. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a crimson-copper color with a single-finger white head with some nice retention and a bit of streaky lacing. The aroma is fairly faint with just a hint of hops and a few light notes of oak.

The taste is certainly tannic, though not as much so as the Stone Lukcy Basgard that we had earlier this evening. Some oak is there and a bit of booze. I get some hints of the Bigfoot and Celebration, though not too much or any of the Pale, which I suppose isn't all that surprising.

The feel consists of a medium body as well as some light to moderate carbonation and a dry, oaky finish. Some tanins are present throughout.

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Photo of champ103
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear brick red color. A two finger tightly packed head rises with excellent retention. Spiderweb looking lace is left down the glass.
S: Resiny, piny, and bitter hops in the nose. That is it. I can't really get anything else.
T: Big piny and resiny hops again. Some wood and a lingering sweetness. Plenty of alcohol lingers as well.
M/D: A full body that is thick, syrupy, and viscous. Maybe a little to much so. Plenty of alcohol, but a good beer to sip on throughout the night.

A decent beer. I am enjoying the bomber, but that is about it. I probably won't pick this up again. Though worth a try.

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Photo of Pahn
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields about 2 inches of fluffy, bone white head and 2 inches of beer. The head sticks around as long as that of Orval or Duvel, and like the beer it leaves thick, eternal walls of lacing. Pours somewhere between dark copper and translucent ruby. Really, this beer couldn't look better.

Smell: Cascade hops. A bit piny and grassy. Mild citrus. Faintly reminiscent of SNPA and celebration (and the hoppy side of fresh Bigfoot). A little danker than usual; the dry hopping did something, for sure.

Taste: Hop assault up front, wave of bitterness, then a smoky finish out of nowhere. Bigfoot shows itself in the aftertaste, but like its namesake, it doesn't stick around for long (was nice, caramely and sweet, and very mildly oaky at first, but the hops just blast it away very early on).

Tastes like a fresh Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. If I were reviewing that beer, the taste score would be higher. As a dry hopped blend of a pale ale, IPA, and oak aged barleywine, the taste leaves you asking "What was the point?" Sure, I like Cascade hops, and this mouthfeel is great... but if I wanted a SNPA I'd have bought one (or 12, for the same price).

Mouthfeel: Along with the appearance, this is where this beer shines. Medium bodied and creamy. The smoothness of oak aged Bigfoot is the star here, but the other components add some nice juiciness. Hop bitterness and kind of oily feel is strong and satisfying.

Drinkability: Pretty good pale ale that gets a little close to Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale with mild sugary maltiness and large hop presence, but not as good. The answer to "What's the point?" seems to be "Beautiful ruby color, creamy feel, and eternal head." That is not a sufficient answer.

I was let down by this beer. I've repeated it twice now, but honestly the whole review could have just been summed up with "What was the point?"

I will add though, on the whole the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary series was a success. I loved the stout, and the other two beers were solid as well. This beer is palatable enough, and I don't feel ripped off or anything. Just doesn't live up to the greatness of its three brothers.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a orangish red color with a thick, fluffy tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a massive lace.

This beer smells malty sweet. Some caramel and a little toffee. Citrusy hops mix in with a slight vanilla aroma as well.

This beer tastes like it smells. Massive sweetness with a citrusy hops flavor. It is quite malty. A very subtle vanilla flavor mixes in as well.

this beer is full bodied. It is carbonated well, and leaves a caramel like aftertaste.

This beer wouldnt make a great session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the flavor is quite aggressive.

Overall: This beer is pretty good, but it is alittle over the top on sweetness.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.46/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.49/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy amber brown with a huge light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a bit subdued - sweet caramel malts, some fruit, some wood, and resiny hops with a little fusel alcohol.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts, some fruits, and some harsh alcohol with a decent resiny bitter finish that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a decent a big beer. It's very drinkable and grew on me as I went through the bottle.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.49/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, dark amber color into my tulip glass. Off white head quickly forms, then settles to a half finger of thick foam. Strong lacing and retention.

Oaky aromas are a bit overpowering at first, but once it's poured in a glass, the strong hop profile balances it out. Still, as it warms, the bourbon and oak character is a bit strong for my tastes. Malt profile is simple, just adding a caramel and dark fruit character similar to Bigfoot. Hops add a bright citrus character to lighten up the otherwise heavy character. Some oaky wood aromas come through with a slight burnt character, as well as a touch of warm bourbon.

Flavor had a more complex, oak character at first; but as it warmed, the bourbon flavors became the focal point. The sticky sweet mouthfeel and slight heat added to the bourbon perception. Bitterness seems lighter than all three of the beers used in this blend. I like how the slight vanilla flavors mix with the caramel sweetness of the malt. It's reminding me of a really decadent dessert.

I think with a bit of time in the bottle and less alcohol heat, this would get a higher score. I'd rather have a fresh Bigfoot. My recommendation is to share it with someone if drinking fresh, because the strong barrel flavors are a palate killer and get a bit tiring.

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Photo of NickMunford
3.51/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Ruby/Amber with a thick head. Good retention with little lacing.

S: Hops at the front. As it warms up, some dark floral notes come out. As it warms a bit more, my novice nose detects... garlic?

T: Again, hops at the front.There is a bitterness that seems to come from the barley as well as the hops.

M: Leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste.

D: Average drinkability. I think the lingering bitterness hurts this one a little.

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Photo of harrymel
3.51/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Well, been a couple years since I had this.

Pours a red amber with a thick, buttery quilt with soapy tops. Smells of malts, bitter hops, some medicinal quality, some oak, some vanilla. Flavor is malty with a touch of alcohol, lots of sweet caramelized sugar character, some bitterness, some chemical character. Medium bodied with velvet for carb and a semi dry finish. A really pleasant beer, not my favorite of the series, but decent enough. Wouldn't seek out, but wouldn't turn down.

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 801 ratings.
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