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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 NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So here it is, the beer I've heard so much about. A blend of oak-aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale (both favorites so far...) and the classic SNPA that created the American pale ale style. To top it off, it's then dry-hopped!

It looks a bit like Celebration ale with its reddish-hued deep chestnut body. There's a slight haze to it, but I can see my fingers clearly through the glass (no fingerprints though). The head rises up like a souffle, measuring three fingers thick before I have to stop and let it settle enough to finish the pour. It's a frothy off-white, slightly yellowed tan cap that looks like a thick milkshake. The head retention is exceptional, and the lacing is really quite good, leaving thick drooping figures of lace that remind me of Spanish moss on a Magnolia tree.

Being dry-hopped I wasn't expecting to find any oak in the nose, but it's there. The dry-hops weren't overdone, and it's clearly meant to display some of its toasty and darkly caramelish malts as well. I find a delicate waft of citrusy fruit that includes tangerine & orange, as well as soft pineapple with just a hint of grapefruit zest. At times I even found quick notes of papaya and coconut.

The flavor is really interesting. I'm immediately reminded of the Celebration ale with its dark malts and solid bitterness, but then it reveals the maltiness of the Bigfoot. How strong is this? I don't really get a lot of alcohol penetrating the flavor until the finish, but I know it's there throughout! And what a malty beast!? It's definitely full bodied. But back to the flavor, it's not as hoppy as I thought it would be, and it's certainly not as citrusy. There are some aspects to it, of course, but it's also really floral, grassy, and leafy - very traditionally English-style in my opinion; except for the late finish where the resinous pine really shines. How it can appear leafy and floral with mainly Centennial (which actually is quite floral, but also citrusy), Cascade (which is just SO juicy citrusy) and Chinook (which is more piney) I don't know. I think the rich, almost burnt sugar and bready maltiness is combining to give what I perceive as a leafy flavor. The grassiness then is really just the pine; and the floral may be coming from the Centennial. Solved! Or not. It doesn't matter.

In the end it does what Sierra Nevada does best, it bonds malts and hops together in a way that they're perceived more as 'one' planned beer, rather than a display of different ingredients put on showcase. Their beers are focused and rounded. And even when their beers are hoppy, they never let the hops become the entire show. As far as I can recall they've never brewed a beer where the malt was just a background to a bombastic hop display, nor a malt bomb that didn't have a decidedly hoppy side to it.

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

750ml bottle served in a Unibroue snifter. After a solid 'pop' of the champagne cork (showing the 1980-2010 anniv. span), this poured a murky orange-brown with a modest but durable beige head. Served a bit too cold at first, the aroma opened up to a rich, inviting and complex mix after just a little warming. I am not a fan of bourbon but did appreciate the clear impact on the flavor, together with a rather pronounced presence of oak in the finish: Both linger on and on in the aftertaste. In the superb nose [4.75], both the wood and the bourbon residue had a much more subdued influence, letting the malts and hops take the forefront, as well as a nice dark fruit note. The flavor too has a rich base of medium roasted malts and, I think, some dark malt. This provides a solid base, with enough hops to lend a spicy/peppery aspect and to render to overall flavor bitter-sweet.

Near full body. Surprisingly smooth for 9.2% ABV. [4.25]

O: a truly great beer [4.75] ... one of those I wish I had a case [or more] of in my cellar.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a few samples of this brew over the weekend.Poured a deep ruby red with a sticky off white head that clung like like glue to the glass.Aromas are fruit tinged along with some vanilla,but the big piney hops are the show stealer,both mix great together.Flavors start out with some vanilla and some spiced cherry and they meld into a big resiny,citric finish.I liked the flavors but they were not overly complex,in saying that this is a really fine beer,one to savor.

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

A - The beer pours into the glass, forming a two finger head of dense, light tan foam on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles fairly slowly and it leaves the glass coated in sticky lace.

S - Dark, sugary malt with notes of brown sugar, dark caramel, and a hint of molasses. Ample hops are present to push back against the sugar with notes of mustard, pine, and spicy grapefruit.

T - Pine hops and brown sugar up front with a bit of caramel. More spicy, slightly floral hops come out in the middle as toffee and brown sugar dominate the malt profile. Things finish up with an increasingly barley wine like profile of pine hops, spicy mustard and pepper notes as well as brown sugar and moderately strong bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - It says on the bottle that it is a blend of, among other things, Bigfoot and Celebration and both show in this grand cru. There is plenty of the dark, spicy hop character from the barleywine, but with bright, pine and citrus notes that are more reminiscent of the IPA. In aroma qualities, it really does exhibit the best of both worlds, though the flavor doesn't quite succeed in the same way. It is, oddly enough, more drinkable than either of its parents, though I am not sure it is complex enough to merit aging despite the big, fancy bottle.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -19%
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 billab914
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this out of the fridge as my Super Bowl beer tonight. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a deep mahogany color with a big frothy white head filling the top inch of the glass. It left some very nice lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma shows a lot of the grapefruit citrus and resiny pine that all three of the component beers have. It has some tropical, pineapple like citrusy notes to it as well. The oak aged Bigfoot really comes through with some woody oak and dark fruit malty flavors with a hint of cherry to it as well.

The taste shows a little more malty sweetness to it up front. Midway and through the finish more of the resiny, bitter, grapefruit like hops come through and give it a pretty decent bitterness. I get some of the dry, woody, oak flavors in the finish and lingering after as well. throughout the beer I get some of the malty, darker fruit, cherry like flavors coming through, which were pretty nice. Nice range of flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Drinkability was pretty decent, I enjoyed it very much while watching the game this evening. It had a nice range of flavors to it and the oaked Bigfoot component was particularly nice. Another cool and good beer in this 30th series.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.74/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ZEB89
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of russpowell
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this at Macadoodles, Joplin, MO

Opens with a resounding whoosh! Pours caramel with 3+ fingers of fluffed up khaki colored head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Plummy, some herbal hops, a touch of booze

T: Rich dark fruit herbal & woody hoppyness, plus much dryness & some boozey pine needles up front. Some oakyness with vanilla & toffee creeps in as this warms; along with orange rind, pine sap, leafy hop notes & grapefruit. Plums & figs are up in there too, this is really working for me! Finishes dry, oaky, piney with leafy hops in abundance, plus more earthy herbal hops as well & subtle vanilla notes

MF: Chewy, a tad over carbonated, but the balance is fantastic! Carbonation skews creamy once warmer, nice warming sensations

Drinks pretty easy, the complexity & ABV do put the breaks on a bit. This is a great beer, I can't decide if I liked this or the Stout the most. Both were great gifts to craft beer lovers in 2010! I may have to pick up a bottle to cellar if lucky enough to find again...

Fantastic formulation/blend of beers!

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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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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber-golden body, nice clarity, with a foamy, off-white head about half an inch in height.

Smell: Vibrant aroma smelling of toasted, bready malts, varied fresh citrus fruits, florals, booze, new oak wood, slightly sweet-scented caramel, but also some toffee, and with a faint, underlying earthiness.

Taste: Day-old baguettes edged with a little caramelly sweetness. Floral, citrusy hops hinting at marmalade with a moderate degree of pronounced bitterness. Integrated alcohol warmth. Slight earthiness. Fair oak character, some subtle tannins present. Firmly dry, warming finish with a long, lingering bitterness trailing into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's good stuff!

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 1/19

A: Clear dark amber, ruby coloration when held up to the light. One finger of foam made up of very small bubbles. Moderate lacing.

S: Extremely complex, lots of flavors going on. Some sweet caramel, oak/wood, lots of hops, some grapefruit, and a hint of pine.

T: Very citrusy up front, the grapefruit and some orange as well. There are some roasted malts and dark fruit. Has a nice bitter finish, a nice blend of flavors. A little bit of oak shows up, but is masked by the hops in this one.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, has a slightly bitter finish. Overall, a very nice blend, a little heavy for me, and the alcohol shows up slightly, but that didn't really bother me.

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Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/27/10 notes. Split a 750ml bottle of this with my brother. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a transparent reddish amber color with two fingers of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of fruity malts, fresh pine hops, caramel malts, and oak.

t - Tastes of hops, caramel malts, oak, pine, fruit, and alcohol. A bit bitter.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good strong ale but a little all over the place. While good, not my favorite in the 30th Anniversary series. Would try again.

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

The pour was about what I would expect given the style. Nice color, rich dark brown, near black with a light head of tan that comes up and caps the top of the glass nicely. Aroma is dominated by aromas of oak and vanilla, which meld seemlessly into the chocolate notes that become ever more present as time goes on. First sip is wonderful, more carbonated then I typically see with barrel aged beers, with a nicely lively presence and rich, velvet like carbonation. First sip is loaded down with oak notes, hints of bourbon and vanilla start to come out as I dive further into it. Suble at first but then it starts to build. Nice backbone of chocolate coming through as well as a light touch of smoke. Nicely put together I have to admit. Smooth, with the alcohol all but absent from the profile making it for a smooth, sublte, and wonderfully complex nightcap.

Overall I have to say it was outstanding. I was not expecting much but was more then happily suprised with the results. An outstanding barrel aged beer.

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

I enjoyed this pint at Shady McGrady's Downtown -served cool on tap. This marks the end of a 30 day period without any alcohol consumption -so sort of a 30 celebration -30th after 30, what a coincidence.

A Deep copper color bordering on rust with translucent clarity and toppped by 1/2 inch of light beige which leaves a thin film on the glass. The bead is miniscule and retention is decent. The smell of fruit permeates the nose w/ a solid piney hop aroma which is augmented by mild citrus notes. There is a slight caramel and alcohol aroma that accompanies the hop presence which is undeniably American. The feel is fruity and very bitter w/ mild sweetness and moderate carbonation w/ light acidity and very mild alcohol effect on the palate.

This ale has an orange rind/bitter citrus/grapefruit-like hop flavor and greets my tastebuds with mild astringency. The light toasted/woody notes from the barrel and malts compliment well. The celebration portion of the blend seems to dominate yet a mild alcohol and sweetness from the bigfoot in the beer comes out more when warmed slightly. The taste of alcohol is mild relatively speaking and the vibrancy of the hops is taking the mainstage w/ a pretty bitter taste and supplemental juicy flavor after the swallow-like 'an amped up Celebration' it has a lot going on w/ pertty interesting balance from smooth caramel malt and west coast hop flavor.

The candied bitter orange rind taste comes to mind halfway in w/ pleasantly semi-dry finish. The beer has high drinkability for me in that regard. The beer doesn't come off as very barleywine-like, more or less 'Celebration on steroids' is what it strikes me as, cliche or not. As it warmed it got tastier and toastier as the carbonation settled slightly and bitterness advances. This has the drinkability score from the hophead's perspective, a big blood orange and ruby red juiciness later in the taste adds dimension. I was very pleased with this blended beer from Sierra Nevada, worth waiting for.

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Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -5%

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

What did my wandering eyes see through the bottle fridge behind the bar at Tulunes in Johnstown, PA...A stinger of Sierra Nevada Grand Cru!!! Didn't have any clue what a Grand Cru was so I read the lable...saw dry hopped...and got really excited!!! SET ME UP SLIM!!! The color was a clear amber with wonderful white head and awesome lacing. The dry hop in this beer really helped the nose! The taste was awesome...very well balnced between hops, malt, and booz! The beer definitely got better as it warmed. The beer was full bodied and rich. The high ABV gives it some punch making it a tough session. This beer is worth a taste...you see it...buy it!!!

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Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Tustin

A: The pour is a bright and rich amber color with a creamy khaki colored head and some impressive lacing.

S: Quite hoppy, despite the oak aging, with a nice citrus character and quite a bit of pine, too. There's a very strong oak aroma which provides some sweet vanilla notes. A slight booziness along with a lot of sweet caramel and toffee.

T: The sweetness of the caramel and toffee flavors are on display from the beginning here. The hops are more toward the back end providing a piney bitterness. Lots of oak and vanilla (bourbon?) with just a touch of alcohol warmth.

M: The body is on the full end of medium with a smooth carbonation.

D: This is the best of the four 30th Anniversary beers and just a fantastic one all around. I should probably pick up a few bottles of this.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: Hazelnut brown hue with a huge head that leaves a bunch of lacing on the glass.

S: It's hard to pinpoint the style of this beer solely based on the aroma. Scents of oily hops and pine alongside a large toasted malt presence.

T: I like all three beers in this blend much more when served individually. The beer tastes decent enough, but not nearly as delicious as I was hoping / expecting. Subtle notes of oak peek through (Bigfoot) along with some lasting hop bitterness (Celebration Ale). I'm sure that the Sierra Nevada Pale makes a notable contribution to the blend, but as the weakest of the three beers involved, it gets lost in the shuffle.

M: The feel is medium-full bodied with a noticeable alcohol presence and a sticky, resinous finish.

D: A fun experiment, but again, I would prefer to enjoy any of the beers used in this blend by themselves.

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Photo of MarkyMOD
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
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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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 801 ratings
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