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

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru
801 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by GratefulBeerGuy on 11-04-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 801 |  Reviews: 465
Photo of champ103
3.41/5  rDev -19%
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 -19%
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 -18.5%
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 -17.8%
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.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.49/5  rDev -17.1%
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 -17.1%
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.

 1,293 characters

Photo of cougarbait
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of tclapper
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of bbadger
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of RobertColianni
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of NickMunford
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
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 -16.6%
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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Photo of BARFLYB
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at The Hulmeville Inn inside a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary chalice, thanks for the keepsies.

Thirty is sturdy beer. A nice big dense bright cream foam was about an inch leaving spraypaint lace on the way down. Colors include dark red, some bronze and a hint of light tan, it looks delicious.

It really took a while for this to make some odors, served very cold, just some faint malts pop out. Once at room temp caramel, toast, bisquit, semi piney hops, and with significant warming bigfoot peeps through with that B-wine scent. Faint traces of vanilla.

Taste is really balanced for the blend. In fact no beer here outshines the other, but unfortunatly, they kind of mute each other out. Toasted malt up front with slight sweetness including vanilla from the oak chips Im guessing. Goes into caramel and a slight piney hop, earthy like in the middle finished with a little celebration spice. Once the glass gets very warmer, that's when BF shows up giving off some dark fruit.

This is a big beer with a not so big body. It's above medium yet not quite full. It's syrupy though and slick with some bitterness on the end. It's properly carbed but that manages not to register to me through the gooey feel. Not really hot either, it's not offensive, just slimy, in a good way.

It took me a while to get through this. While I like the idea and the execution of this 12oz was plenty for me. It's not all that drinkable, yet it's not cloying in any way, I like the beers that are in it, perhaps I should stowe a bottle away for later. I think the mix of spice on top of bigfoot may be interesting.


 1,612 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased for $10 or so.

A: Pours a hazy, darkly red amber body with two fingers of long-lasting, dense, creamy, light beige head. As it slowly retreats down the glass, it leaves sticky, ivy-like trails down the sides. Really beautiful appearance.

S: Pine needles, caramel malt, toffee. A smattering of grapefruit citrus, some oak. Not the most expressive nose, for some reason. It's dominated by the Bigfoot that went into it.

T: The taste is much more well-rounded. Pine-dominated, with caramel malt and toffee providing substantial barleywine-like backbones. A touch of grapefruit citrus is noted. The hops are vibrant, fresh, and powerful. I find that the finish has an element of cinnamon, which pairs well with tannins to give it a drying impression. Small vanilla character and lots of lingering pine bitterness. This was aged partly in bourbon barrels, from what I've heard, but I never tasted that particular aspect, unless you count the caramel and vanilla flavors.

M: Medium-full bodied, with ample carbonation, maybe even a tad high. It is quite oily and has a lingering, sticky, resinous presence. The oak finish is lightly astringent. There is some heat that makes it lightly warming, though not hot or unpleasant.

D: Probably unnecessary to put this in 750mLs, though I guess it makes it seem more prestigious and premium. Worth a try, but it's nothing to write home about. I wish I had spent the money on a 12 pack of Celebration instead.

 1,492 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

75 cl

Pours a hazy reddish gold. Thick head over an inch dissipates very slowly.

Smells of piney hops and fresh grainy malts with a hint of citrus.

Tastes malty and hoppy with some apple-like sweetness and a flicker of alcohol.

Moderate to full in the mouth with soft carbonation throughout.

Pretty decent hoppy ale, kind of like an American Barleywine. Not crazy about it though, like some of the other SN 30th ales better.

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Photo of philbertk
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"A Collaboration of Pioneering Brewers. 22% Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels, 78% Ale. Blend of Oak Aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale, and Fresh Pale Ale". Tan orange half inch lacy lasting head. Rich dark amber color.Mellow bourbon oak aromatic complex fruit malt hop aroma front. Surprisingly light medium textured medium sweet somewhat fruity malty Bigfoot dominated body. Medium light fruity sediment. Flavors aged well and mellowed together nicely. Touch of Bourbon heat mixed with lingering sweetness and hop spice in rich complex somewhat overpowering end. Tasty, but too much work to drink. (3.65/5.0)

 600 characters

Photo of SafeAtFirst
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I thought maybe I should wait and let the oak-aged part of this blend mellow. But when a Sierra Nevada beer label says "generously dry hopped", I knew I had to pop it open.

The beautifully rich ruby color is the best part of this grand cru.

Aroma doesn't backup the label hype. Good american hop aroma, not grand.

Taste is a little rough around the edges, blame the oak. Some citrus, a touch of caramel. Alcohol shows as a peppery bite that amplifies the hop/oak bitterness.

Carbonation could have been a little softer for such a big bodied beer. Finish is chalky, rough, dry.

It'll probably be better in 6 months, but I doubt I buy another bottle.

 654 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a nice reddish-amber color with a tall, fluffy, off-white head that had very good retention and light lacing.

The aroma was mostly sweet malts with a trace of spicy hops in the background. The taste was very similar, although the hops had a much stronger presence than the aroma had led me to expect.

The body was nice full and round. Drinkability was pretty good, especially for an almost 10% brew. Overall, a very nice beer. I suspect a lot of people will be aging this but I don't think time is going to help it much, it's probably as good as it's going to get now.

 610 characters

Photo of shageman331
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle purchased over Thanksgiving 2010 and consumed Dec. 22, 2010. Melange of oak-aged bigfoot, bigfoot, and celebration (not 100% about the exact blend)

Appearance - A rousing pour yields a nice two finger head. Beer is a red/coppery/amber color

Smell - Blend of citrus and pine, but there is a little alcohol present. Good, not great.

Taste - Sturdy malt backbone with some hop bitterness. A little pine. Again, good, but not great.

Mouthfeel - A solid mouthfeel... enough bubbles to keep the party moving along.

Overall - Sierra Nevada has always been a solid brewery. They never blow me away, but they never disappoint. This beer is another example of that. I am glad I tried it, but its not something that I would go out of my way to get again.

NOTE: I tried it when it first came out and it was much better...

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Photo of peabody
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice clear amber to red with two fingers of slightly off-white suds. Lacing is good here.
Smell is subtle hop and malt with a tinge of alcohol. Not a strong aroma here for an Imperial IPA.
Taste is boozy. Some bitter hops but mostly strong alcohol with some sugar and malt. Here again we have a very subtle brew.
Mouthfeel is slightly dirty but flavors of the hop leave the palate too quickly.
Drinkability is OK for a cold night in Dec. Otherwise it's not a great Imperial IPA. However, for Sierra Nevada this one if pretty good.

 542 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 13 Nov 2010. TJ's was the place!

"A dry-hopped blend of oak-aged Bigfoot Barleywine, Celebration Ale and fresh Pale Ale." Wow. It had a finger of foamy, deep-tan head when it arrived. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a nose hair-searing heat that should have served as a warning, but I plodded onwards. Mouthfeel was medium with a heat that rivaled Mount Vesuvius. Geez-O, man, but that was hot! I could not taste much else. Finish was gaspy and I knew that this was the end. I could hardly catch my breath after this bad boy. Buy some and age it!

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 801 ratings
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