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

30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru
BA SCORE
4.21/5
801 Ratings
30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
465
Ratings:
801
pDev:
9.5%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
187
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 801 |  Reviews: 465
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 GilGarp
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grand Cru is a deep ruby color with good clarity and thick head. It settles very slowly leaving thick lacing behind.

Aroma is very similar to bigfoot and celebration. Sweetness but with big hoppiness make it similar to a barleywine style.

Flavor is very big but smooth and well-balanced. The hops are huge but the malts are there to keep it in check. Caramel and toffee with dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a very worthy Grand Cru.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by spycow.

A - Orangish brown beer with a white head that faded to a solid ring with a partial cap on the top.

S - Caramel, toffee, burnt sugars. Smells a lot like a barleywine, albeit there is a strong hops presence there.

T - Tastes is in line with the nose, reminds me a bit of bigfoot, with nice caramel, toffee, and some burnt brown sugar. There is some oak, and a strong hops bite on the end. The alcohol is too hot for me, it's not that it's bad, but a little distracting and needs some time to cool.

M - Medium bodied with lower carbonation. Goes down pretty easily with some alcohol burn on th eend.

O - Not a bad beer, give it some age and it could be pretty good. Would like to try it in a year or so, but no real need to get more of it right now.

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Photo of Shrews629
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer poured a light brown/burgundy/amber color. It kind of even has some purple tints. An off white, creamy, luscious looking head with very nice size and some real nice lacing. The head settled to a near perfect film across the top that lasted the duration of the beer.

Smell - The aroma was more of a subtle grapefruit citrus at first with a very slightly sweet grape tone. A very minor hint of booze. Smells sweet and balanced. A bit piny and resiny. Hints of sweet caramel. Smells floral and fresh. A very laid back "woody" tone in the aroama. Maybe a touch of Bourbon?

Taste - The taste brought out a very prevalent grapefruit citrus and bitterness. Wonderful!!! A welcome deep warmth, however the alcohol "taste" was barely detected. A bit of a woody tone comes through in the taste. It's balanced superbly and the complexity is outstanding. A perfect amount of hop bite.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Crisp. Dry. Smooth. Plenty of flavor left on the palate begging for another sip. Carbonation was near perfect. Coats the throat and roof of the mouth evenly and delectably.

What a beer. Superb in several categories. Easily drinkable. I should have picked up two bottles. As the beer warmed, the aromas and flavor started to become more defined and pronounced as one would expect.

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Photo of Shaw
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
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 heebes
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, corked and caged.
Easter.

Poured a dark brown with a large tan head.
Nose is hops foremost and malt, phenol.
Taste is mostly malts, robust character.
Medium mouthfeel.
Overall, impressive beer that hit all the right notes. Alcohol content was fairly noticeable but enjoyable.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a Bomber at D's in Monroeville for 7 bucks. Was on sale!

A - Wow the cork came off with a nice pop! Pour produced a nice two inches of head. This beer is a nice dark amber with tons of carbonated bubble throughout. Impressive.

S - Smells like a nice oak aged barleywine. You get caramel, toffee, oak, a bit of musk, and a touch of hops as it warms a bit. Not really harsh hops just a light bit of pine.

T - Wow this beer is complex. I get sweetness first with a bit of caramel malt and then rounds to an oak, light but it does leave a nice bit in the aftertaste. The hops are in the finish and you can taste the dry hopping since it leaves a mild west coast soapy hop feeling on your tongue. Doesn't really get to sweet before the hops kick in so this beer is very palatable.

M - Surprisingly it drinks with a medium body. Must have been the oak aging combing with the dry hopping. Drinks great for the high ABV.

Overall even though this beer was on sale I could see stopping back and getting another bottle. After sipping it a while the oak kind of takes a backseat and all you can taste is the sweetness followed by bitter hops but I still find it mighty tasty. Should be able to age with the best of em!

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Photo of psuKinger
2.44/5  rDev -42%
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 MasterSki
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for sharing. Served in a Russian River tulip glass.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of light tan foam that settles to a thin cap and glass-coating lace. Mostly transparent coppery-amber body.

S - Faded hop aroma, oak, piney and herbal. The backbone is heavy in toffee and caramel, with some burnt sugars and bread in there as well. Smells like a slightly aged Bigfoot, but with some oak and vanilla character mixed in for good measure. I suspect this was better fresh, but I find it a little harsh. Seems a bit boozier than the listed ABV too.

T - I liked the taste quite a bit better, as it was a smooth blend of caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Finishes with an oak bite and lingering residual hop bitterness. Alcohol is also better hidden.

M - Smooth, pleasant lower carbonation. Resinous medium body, with mild warmth and tannins, and dryness in the finish. Seems a tad undersized, but goes down quite easily.

D - I'd probably rather have regular old Bigfoot, as the oak character doesn't entirely work within the flavor profile, particularly in the aroma. The combination of tannins and residual hop bitterness make this fatiguing to drink, although I think I had more than the rest of my tasting group. An interesting and solid brew, but not something I would purposely seek out again.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip.
9.2% ABV, no date.

My 2 Year BA anniversary review!

A - I'm finally getting around to having this one! The cork flew out so fast it could have put an eye out (granted, I tried to pop it). Hazy rusted burgundy colored and topped by a low but pretty well-retained cream head, specks of lace are smattered on the glass.

S - Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy, this thing is dry-hopped to high heaven and really explodes in the nose. Cascady goodness! Pine resin, juicy lupulun glands, grapefruit, and an assertive backing of caramel malt, toasted bread undertones, and Vienna malt. Grassy notes throughout.

T - This is lacking the bold flavor the nose offers. Smooth, mellow caramel malt and toast hides itself while the timid hops are just as scared to show themselves. Some pine and hop resin but nothing stands out across the board.

M - Exceptionally smooth, there is almost no alcohol heat registering on my radar. Nicely balanced sweet maltiness with a disturbingly modest hop bitterness. Well-carbonated.

O - For the bold brews that go into this, it's sure subtle. Good but not great, I was worried about the hops fading with age until I read the bit about extended aging on the label. Maybe I'll get another one to see how it ends up.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown color with a pillowy off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of caramel sweetness, citrus hops, and some pine.

Tastes of waves of hops and malt. Starts with caramel sweetness and bread. Followed by citrus hops and some bitterness. Oak is noticeable with slight wood and vanilla. Definitely leans towards bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, very good and worth checking out.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 oz corked bottle. The bottle's label indicated that the beer was a blend of 22% aged ale in bourbon barrel and 78% ale. The beer is a dry hopped combination of Oak-aged Bigfoot, Celebration ale and pale ale:

The beer poured a hazy dark amber color with a huge tan head that dissipated into a half finger cap that lasted throughout the beer.

The aroma was malty, but somewhat weaker than expected.

The beer had a heavy malt taste with some nice pine or earth hops, but the bitterness did not last. The maltiness took over the flavor profile.

The beer, initially had a medium body feel to it, but as it warmed, it became heavier and thicker, chewy almost. The alcohol was more noticeable as the beer warmed, but the beer was still pretty smooth and creamy.

Overall, a nice complex beer, I thought that it might have been a little more hoppy, but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of confer
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- First of all the cork was a real challenge to get out of the bottle. I ended up breaking off the head and having to use a corkscrew to get the rest of it out of the bottle. Even then this type of cork didn't want to let the corkscrew in. Never had to work so hard to get a bottle of beer open. Anyway it pours a golden amber color with a frothy head the color or which I don't remember seeing before. It was yellow and sort of looked like my dog's puke. I didn't hold that against the beer though.
S-All piney hops, smells like an IPA to me.
T- It definitely ends with a piney hop bite that coats you mouth and hangs around for a while. Before the hop bite there is a small sweet taste and then an alcohol burn.
M--Very thick and creamy.
O-I'm glad I got to try this one timer but I don't know if I would look for it again if was made again. I think I should have held on to it for awhile before popping the cork, age might have done good things here.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 24-oz tulip, a deep amber with a giant, fluffy, tannish/orange head. Excellent lacing and retention.

The nose is foremost a straight-up and distinctively Sierra Nevada hop profile, with underlying fruity/malt presence from Bigfoot. Excellent.

The taste diverts immediately from the nose. It's all over the place. First it's sweet and malty, then Sierra-Nevada pine resin, followed by a gamut of spice and fruits. Creamy mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation and a bitter finish. It's a fairly big and complex brew.

If I buy another I'm going to let it age longer.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 c&c into pint glass. Purchased from Fitzgeralds in Eagle River, MI.

Appearance: Pours a deep sandstone color, with a khaki colored airy head. Some great lacing...

Nose: Yes. Classic West Coast grapefeuit and pine aromas. I am getting some mild oak notes. Caramel and vanilla.

Taste: Sweet malt yield flavors of toffee and oak lend to a nice creamy vanilla character. Followed by a wave of pine resin and tropical fruit. Few days old oranges, grapefruit and nectarines.

Mouth: Sticky sweet. Heavy viscosity, but good creamy character.

Overall and drink: Overall, great beer. I really enjoyed it. Nose was muted a bit, but the real pleasant palate made up for it. Will buy more, and cellar some for down the road.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a beauty in the glass. a deep ruby amber color with a thick khaki head that sticks around and laces well. this is how beer should look.
the aroma has got lots of that familiar sierra nevada hop profile with citrus and pine. there is a more subdued maltiness underneath the hops with a peanut brittle-y caramel and toffee character, and i also pick up some vanilla from the oak.
the flavor is a great combination of the three beers this is made out of. you can really taste how they meshed together. caramel and toffee mingle with a just a touch of darker coffee malt before transitioning into some dark barelywine type dark berry fruitiness. the oak seems to have function to smooth out some of the edges and add a little creamy vanilla complexity to the equation. the substantial bitterness is backed up by grapefruit rind hop flavor with touches of pine, just as in the aroma.
the mouthfeel, while somewhat coursely bubbled comes off smoother and creamier than all it's component beers but the pale ale, which i would say it's comparable to, but with a fuller body.
overall, a hell of a beer, a more refined beer then the sum of it's parts. a fitting end to the anniversary beer series on many levels. i might pick up another because this seems like a good candidate for the cellar.

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Photo of nhindian
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature snifter.

A - Pours a deep burnt amber color, dark orange with shades of red intermingled. It looks a bit like Celebration, perhaps a little darker. A fluffy, 2-fingered head builds and is incredibly thick and creamy and eggshell white in color. Retention is fantastic as the foam sticks to the surface of the liquid and refuses to dissipate. The head is so stubborn, that it actually affects the lacing as the head doesn't want to part with the liquid and join the glass. Very interesting.

S - Sierra Nevada has a distinctive hop profile that distinguishes themselves from the competition and its in full force in this beer. I am getting some of the oak and malts from Bigfoot here, but this is predominately a very hoppy beer. You run the gamut with hop characteristics here, to resiny, fruity, and spicy, and the malt backbone is just that; a support off which the hops can springboard. A good bit of caramel and toffee in here.

T - Taste is a rollercoaster of flavor, starting with the sweet malts from Bigfoot, which transitions into a more oak and vanilla taste, which is subtle and quick before rushing into a hop forest. Notes of oranges, grapefruit, pine, and slight hop spice run rampant in the finish, which lingers and turns quite bitter. Addicting and instantly recognizable as Sierra Nevada.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Very smooth and the persistent head adds a velvet creaminess that creates a nice introduction for the vast flavors in the beer. Long finish and leaves a good coating in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. I would've liked to see the Oaked Bigfoot play a bigger role in this beer, as at this point, the Sierra Nevada hop profile is common and its all too easy to get the Celebration and Pale Ale flavors in this, but the Bigfoot is quickly glanced over. Maybe some age will do this one some good to balance it out more, but it still is tasty fresh.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary (Brewer's Reserve) Grand Cru pours up lively with plenty of effervescence that creates a massive sustainable beige-tannish cream colored head that craggily tops the deep burnt orangish-reddish coppery body. This one has an excellent head retention, but the clarity suffers initially from some hop/chill haze, but shows off some apparent alcoholic legs. The aroma is a showcase for resinous Northwest hops (Cascade & Centennial) which are part of their signature with an abundantly fruity (citrus salad/grapefruit) character. The spiciness (piney/pine tar) and grassy/floral notes add complexity, but eventually gives way to a solid malt backbone and some notable strength as it warms. The flavor starts off very fruity (apricot preserves, Mandarin orange, Texas Red Grapefruit) with some toasted (ginger snap, shortbread cookies, vanilla wafer) character & moderate caramel maltiness (hot buttered rum, toffee/treacle) that carries a touch of nuttiness (sugared almonds, peanut brittle) which layers into the overall complexity. There's a very marked amount of underlying bitterness that keeps this one relatively balanced and prevents it from ever being overly cloying. The bittersweet finish is bold, warming, and zesty with just a hint of oak astringency. Here's to The Meddlesome Moth's 1st & Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-A massive pop as the cork is released. I was very surprised this one did not explode out the bottle. Pours a very clear reddish amber with a Huge frothy tan head with a great pool about three minutes after the pour. Nice.

S-Caramel malt, oak, pine hops.

T-Mostly malty with some nice pine hops in the finish. Bitterness is subtle, which I think means the Celebration Ale takes the most prominent role here. A bit less oak than I might have hoped for but quite delicious.

M-Medium bodied, very highly carbonated, nice lingering bitterness.

O-Really nice. I love Celebration Ale and Bigfoot. This beer has the rich bitterness of Celebration and the richer malt of Bigfoot with a nice understated oak character. As I mentioned previously, a bit more oak would have been nice but this is a very nice finish to a great series.

HV

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

Poured from a corked and caged 750 bottle. Labeled as the Grand Crüe with a 2010 date on the right side of the banner on the label. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: A dark orange color that has hints of brown. A two finger eggshell head is fluffy and thick. Lacing is there but recedes eventually.

S: Earthy hops with a huge thick caramel and dark fruit nose . Wow. Some wood notes and
baked bread.

T: The earthy hop bite hits me first with big dark fruit flavors. Some wood tones with huge earthiness and the heavy caramel malt sweetness. Some baked bread flavors sneak in with some biscuit and some citrus rind flavors. The earthy floral hops don't back down, but the sweetness sticks through the finish. Funny finish as you feel the bitterness but the sweetness sticks on the tongue. Very complex.

M: Thick, coating, chewy and still prickly. Some alcohol is felt but it's nice and warming. Nice carbonation. Its a mouthful for sure.

O: A real nice beer that is so complex. I really enjoyed the mix of flavors but one can really taste the Bigfoot the most. Still real enjoyable...real enjoyable.

I loved this beer. Not something I would drink everyday, but super enjoyable. Great job SN, you have a winner here.

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Photo of Phelps
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Formerly the Grand Cru and now known as Oak-Aged Ale, this is the big daddy of the 30th Anniversary beers, a dry-hopped blend of Pale Ale, Celebration and oak-aged Bigfoot (which would be nice to try on its own, SN). Enjoyed from the tap at Flanny's, poured into a tulip.

Dark, murky burgundy-tinged copper. Lightly hazy, with a fuzzy one-finger light khaki head that recedes quickly to a thin ring, leaving oodles of spotty, jagged lace.

Grassy nose. Bright orange peel, oak, a bit of caramel, dark bread.

The flavor: caramel, grapefruit juice, pine, raisins, lots of grass, burnt sugar. Some vinous oak and dark, overripe oranges are also apparent. Impressive bitterness, though it's also quite sweet on the finish.

Light, prickly carbonation amidst a big, creamy body. No alcohol is noticeable, which is impressive since I'm pretty sure this thing is 9 percent.

A nice blend. It's not as exciting as I expected, but each component beer is showcased. It was, however, amazing with the Flanny's cheddar and fontina macaroni and cheese, with the dish accentuating the beer's malty qualities.

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Photo of Hemi
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This peer pours with two finger head which is very creamy and hangs around for a few minutes. Great lacing and overall appearance with a dark copper slightly clouded with yeast. Smells slightly hoppy but not as much as you may think. I'd say the taste and mouth feel are the best thing about this beer. You can barely notice the alcohol is over 10%. The mouthfeel is one of the best of this beer style I've ever had. This is a great anniversary beer.

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Photo of BigE90
3.3/5  rDev -21.6%
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 zeff80
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with amber highlights. It had a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. Nice retention and some thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of oak, vanilla, rich malt and floral notes.

T - Nice roasty malt flavor with mild vanilla and oak flavors. Good citrusy hop bitterness. I really could taste Bigfoot, Celebration and Pale Ale in this.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

O - This was really good. I've enjoyed all of the SN 30th Anniversary beers and this may be the finest.

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Photo of cratez
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25oz corked bottle purchased at Bottle Caps in Daytona Beach, FL.

Pours a hazy dark ruby hue with one finger of foamy, cream-coloured froth and large strands of lacing on the tulip. Head retains for the duration of the beer. A gorgeous-looking brew.

Smell is big piney and citric hops, toast, burnt sugar, caramelized fruit, flower petals, oak wood, vanilla cake batter, prunes, ethanol, orange rind, anjou pears, and resiny hop oils. Ridiculously complex and inviting aromas.

Taste is equally nuanced with rich caramel, taffy, vanilla, and oak barrel upfront; mild dark fruit sweetness; spicy, acidic and piney hops; citrus zest, orange peel, and red grapefruit mid-palate; bold grassy and astringent bitterness with some warming alcohol and a lush, resinous hop finish that coats the mouth. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is fuller than medium bodied, creamy carbonation, juicy middle gives way to a clean, bitter finish. Not as thick or drying as you would expect for the weight and style.

Overall, this is an absolute beast of a beer and an exemplary American strong ale. Right up there with Double Bastard IMHO. Well worth the $11 if you can get your hands on a bomber.

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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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