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 Docer
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just snagged a cold bottle...

- Bubbly dark copper brew... huge white fizzy head.... a few fingers... down to a solid steady pinky finger of head... lacing madness.... quite bubbly.

- This foam must be masking the smell a bit... light mild grassy and herbal pine hops... slight sweet caramel... smells hidden, tucked away... tasty...

- Smooth creamy biscuity bready caramel malt, slight hotness from the alcohol... and a blanket of herbal grassy hops... slight brown sugar notes... slightly woody and earthy... bitter lovely hops... a perfect balanced bite. Win.

- Creamy medium bodied.. drying because of the massive hopping... slightly chewy and sticky. Just a touch over carbonated.

- Overall this is very smooth, doesn't let much heat show... yet there is still just a hot flavor but not so much the actual heat. Very smooth and creamy...

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a beer. I guess in reality it's not all that mind-blowing because it's a blend of three familiar beers, but it's a nostalgic beer experience for sure. First off, it's beautiful. It pours a really nice amber color with some rose highlights. Big pillowy off-white head caps it off. Smell is pretty good, some nice hops--piney, citrusy, delicious. Taste is also really good. It's so awesome that Bigfoot, Pale Ale and Celebration all make contributions. Bigfoot provides the most of the flavor (I think), but the SNPA and Celebration round it out, soften some of the edges, and add a fruitier hoppiness to it. It's pretty much what I wanted Bigfoot to be--a smooth, hoppy, well-executed DIPA or American Barleywine. The oak adds a bit of depth to the flavor, but overall I find it to be elegantly simple. It's a nice tribute to SN, something I hope becomes a yearly release--it's a beer that most beer geeks can enjoy since at least SNPA and Bigfoot hold special places in most of our hearts. SN is a gateway brewery, but they put out some top of the line stuff too.

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Photo of bridgetowhophead
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle, opened in celebration of my father's birthday. I catch the aroma immediately after popping, and it's a beauty. All the best features of SNPA, celebration and bigfoot, plus the oak. Taste is similar to the odor. Incredibly complex, with minimal alcohol heat considering it's fresh at 9.2%. I love being able to separate the contributions of the three beers in the blend. Mouthfeel is a bit on the flat side, but I love the balance between bubbliness and smoothness it manages to pull off. Only critique is it's actually surprisingly low on hop bitterness for a SN beer, but it might just be the lupulin threshold shift in effect.

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Photo of carpezytha
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in oversized wine glass at 49 degrees F.

A: Deep dark brown body, medium cream head that leaves a nice lumpy lacing.
S: Bark, old cherries, mud and bitter herbs.
T: Deep toasty bitterness with sweet malts.
M: Can taste the alcohol, but fairly well masked by the full body. Carbonation minor.
D: Very good for a cold night by the fire with the gf.
I would love to taste this after aging.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle. Was very excited to be able to nab 2 of these. A blend of three great beers.

A - A nice loud pop as the cork is removed. Gorgeous rich and dark mahogany colors with great reddish hues and a nice dense 1 inch head. The color is nice and ecru with some bigger bubbles intermingled but dominated by nice and tightly packed smaller bubbles. Retention is near perfect with a slowly receding head that leave nice sticky lacing all along the glass. (5)

S - Very complex and delicious nose. I can catch the nice malty and sweet Bigfoot notes that have some caramel and brown sugar hints as well as some boozy notes. I can also perceive the bready malt hints from the Pale Ale and the nice fresh and grassy hop notes from Celebration. All aromas are full and rich with great backbone. (4.5)

T & M - Flavor starts off with nice sweet caramel malt and that boozy sweetness form Bigfoot. The flavors is very complex and delicious. After the sweet start you get that fresh grassy hop character and flavor that characterizes many of the SN beers especially the Celebration and the Pale Ale. The hops are nice and clean and shine well on their own. There is a great pine note from the hops that remind me of the first time I had celebration and thought I was chewing on a pine tree. The finish is nice and bitter with some nice sticky sweetness and boozy barrel aged notes. Body is nice and medium with rich caramel notes and great bittering grassy hops and nice crisp carbonation. (4)(4.5)

D - Great offering and probably my favorite of the 4 XXX. It has great flavors and they all work well together. The ABV is a bit higher and it can be felt and tasted so take it easy. (4.5)

Decided to open my second bottle on (5-5-2013). Here are some extra notes.

Loud pop when bottle is opened.

Aroma has some slight oxidation but mostly some nice piney resinous hops are present. Nice syrupy malty notes are also present in the nose.

Flavor is delicious. As smooth as ever. Bitterness form the hops is still there while some citrus notes still struggle to show themselves. Still pretty grassy. With some slight woody notes present as well. The brew is a bit more subdued with some nice malty sweetness that is still there and keeps you coming back for more. Great brew.

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Photo of generalnotsew
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Been waiting forever for this so I may have hyped it in my mind a bit. Deep rich mahogany coloring with fat 3 finger off white head. Smell is a bit sweet and spicy with whiffs of oak. Kind of has a fruity essence. A bit of grapefruit with mild hop soapiness. Initially a great deal of hop bitterness but quickly fades away to the malty goodness of the Bigfoot with traces of oak. The bitterness does make a comeback in the end. All kinds of things going on in this beer. It is delicious! Highly drinkable and satisfying. Well worth the wait.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With a ton of hop character and the structure of a Barleywine, this strong ale becomes much more drinkable than the malt bombs and with a crisp dryness of well attenuated IPA's. With Ecclecticity at the forefront this beer blends all of what's best about Sierra Nevada in a single glass.

A deep mohogany hue shows through the snifter and carries an off-white head that has both creamy and froathy character. Nice lacing that drips as the beer falls. Good clarity but with a mild dry-hopped haze.

Aromas are resiy, grassy, piney, and citrusy with a mouthwatering sharpness and invigorating zest. Bready/crusty, lightly toasty, and with a malted barley scent, the beer restrains fruity esters, avoids phenolics, and prounounces cleanliness and robust notes.

Flavor of pine and citrus dominate in taste while taking on a sharp and resiny flavor. Dry bread crust and medium toast gives a strong and aggressive balance of malt and hops (reminding me a bit of Stone's Arrogant Bastard). The esters of the Bigfoot give a mild berry-like, grapey flavor that adds complexity to the dry toffee and toast. Aggressive and robust throughout, this beer is not for timid palates.

Full, robust, and froathy in mouthfeel (at least early on); the beer turns quickly into a full toasty-malty dryness that ushers in the acute dryness of spruce, mint, citrus, and alcohol. Toasty dry and hoppy in the end.

For Sierra Nevada to blend their most popular beers in such a way, partly barrel aged; and to meld them in such a way is a remarkable feat that would make Belgian brewers jealous.

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Photo of Beejay
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown with a lovely ruby glow. Nice light tan fluffy head on top.

S: Sweet and malty with hints of oak. Some leafy hop smells as well as a touch of citrus.

T: If there is one word for this beer it is depth. Almost bitter at first, but that quickly fades into a maple syrup and malt flavor. Malty sweetness leads into a sweet bourbon oak flavor. The finish is oak, with a touch of booze and a touch of bitter hops. As it warms the hops shine with the oak coming in strong alongside malty sweetness.

M: Fairly light in body. Very high carbonation. Almost a little dry, which is odd since it has a syrup thing going

D: Oaky and delicious. Although I would like to see what would happen to this thing if it was aged a bit.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at the COOP tonight.. Poured into my Old Guardian goblet... nice 2 finger tannish head.... good lacing and retention.. the brew is pretty.. deeeep orange.

The aroma shows everything that is good about SN.. the big hoppiness from Celebration is obvious... CCC hoppiness from the pale I guess is there, but the Bigfoot is the big player here.. caramel malts and a fair amount of toasty essence help balance things out..

Flavor is NOT weighing heavy on the Bigfoot side.. instead, the Celebration seems fresh and punching holes in the perceived maltiness... an interesting oaky quality is definite yet shredded by the C-hops... mid-palate some residual sugars pull bits and pieces of toasty biscuit and the deep oily Cascades are pulling LATE bitterness from the back of my palate.. lingering and definite Cascade.. with warmth, some more woody note emerge, but they still get buried by citrus... oaky... toasty.. cascades... well blended... yummy.

Body is lesser than the Bigfoot by a bit... carbonation is about the same.. resinous and oohh sooo fresh.... love it.

Will this age? At $10, I will certainly find out.... I think this is gonna be amazing after about 6 months.... Not sure after that.


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Photo of UA8
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This here is one heck of great way for Sierra Nevada to cap off their 30th Anniversary series WELL worth the price. I will be picking up a few more.

Pours a gorgeous reddish amber body with a big frothy cream colored head.

Scents of citrus, caramel, sweet wood, mango, and vanilla.

Mellowed out bigfoot with soft and silky tones or vanilla. The malt really step up to the plate and beautifully balances and accentuates the citrus and pine flavors from the hops in the pale and celebration.

Silky and smooth with soft carbonation

This is incredible and I'm still thinking about giving it a perfect 5. So well crafted and exactly what I enjoy in the balance and flavor profile of this style of beer, not to mention the incredible mouth feel.

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Photo of eatabagofbooger
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle to a snifter.

A: The lighting here is poor, but depending on where I hold the glass, it has anywhere from a light ruby to copper color. Doesn't let a whole lot of light through, but enough that you can tell it's not cloudy in the slightest. The head on this thing is beautiful-just barely off white and soooo silky smooth. Leaves a thick, sticky lacing as well.

S: A blast of citrus and pine hops with a light biscuity malt backdrop. Nice, but doesn't really stand out from lots of other great hop-forward beers (including other offerings from SN)

T: The hops trend in more of a grassy, piny direction than the nose. The malts come through a bit more than in the nose as well, but are still not that complex. The wood flavors are definitely noticeable. I can taste some alcohol here, but not over 9% worth. There's a hint of spiciness as well. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that there's a tiny bit of cayenne or somthing along those lines. Odd, and barely noticeable, but nice. Hints of smoke. The centerpiece for me is the oak, which is subtle, but distinct. It turns what could otherwise be a forgettable offering into something memorable.

M: Medium body. Carbonation gives a pleasant tingliness that plays well with the hint of spice and the hops. Nice, but again, not phenomenal.

D: I was happy to try this, but probably won't seek it out again, unless by some miracle I find it for substantially cheaper. It's good, but for the most part doesn't really stand out that much from lots of other great IIPAs.

Edit: Just to be clear, I was not expecting an IPA or an IIPA. Given the unique blend of beers, I was expecting something, well, unique. I was disappointed that this beer came across as a solid, but not standout IIPA with the exception of some VERY subtle (but very nice) flavors. So to recap, I did not review this beer as an IIPA, but as its own beast.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep ruby color with a huge fluffy white head that slowly recedes while sticking itself to the glass all the way down. Smells of citrus and pine, a cherry like candy sweetness with hints of dark fruits. A bit of pepper, caramel and alcohol round the nose out. Taste is a little on the sweet side up front until the hops take over and assault the taste buds. Taste is filled with sweet dark fruits, plums and cherries come to mind. The candied sweetness carries into the taste and adds some woody, earthy, pine and citrus notes before finishing with a lingering hop bitterness and a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is somewhere between creamy and resinous. Carbonation and body are somewhere in the middle. I really enjoyed this one after a long stressful work week. It will be interesting to see how this one ages, I'm guessing it will only get more complex.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rich mahogany with a slight chill haze, a wooden sleigh through the white-capped mountains. Monstrous drifts of snow pile high and leave swaths of lace everywhere, the flurries sticking to our eyelashes...
Maple-syrup-bourbon, pass the flask... the peculiarly wintry air aroma with huge notes of evergreens and citrus, careening along as the bells ring and we smile at one another, huddling together against the biting wind.
The warmth of the bourbon tingles the back of the throat, a beautiful maple sweetness with the mahogany smell of the freshly stained sleigh, a birthday-present, the gift of hours of joy, the lovely bourbon capping of the flavour and combining with the harsh grapefruit and evergreen sap... a woody, maple finish with some lively warmth that courses down and keeps the wind and the jostling from freezing you to the core...
Warm, and creamy... sweet and dry and bitter mildly carbonated, and warming and tingling and woodish...
This beer is grand. This will doubtless age as well as your memories, would be a lovely one to share as you sit around the fire in twenty years and talk to your children of evergreens and snow, of sleigh-rides on a wintry afternoon... This is the best of the series. Excellent.

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Photo of ykncornelius
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, this thing must be brand new? Passed by the slot in the store most-recently reserved for 30th Ann. Barleywine, and this little green label Grand Cru caught my eye. Lo and behold, I'm review #2. Should be some more glowing reviews to come.

On the subject of glowing, this deep honey mahogany beauty looks fantastic, with an enormous frothy light tan head leaving tons of chunky lacing in my goblet. Delicate aroma of floral hops and juniper, no alcohol heat. Smells nice, but it belies the intense flavor.

Lots of layering for the taste buds! Citrus-y, pine-y, a bit dry--like a great IPA--but very subdued bitterness. Once it warms in the glass a bit, some caramel malt comes through with just a touch of roasted sweetness. Quite complex, absolutely delicious.

Rich and velvety feel, light on the carbonation with a long-lasting "effervescence" on the tongue, for lack of a better term.

The fact that I keep pouring and downing is testament to the ceaseless drinkability. It goes down like a run-of-the-mill IPA, which is to say easily. The 9.2% ABV doesn't even attempt to make its presence felt, which I can really appreciate. The girlfriend test went: "Tastes really great. But I thought you liked super strong alcoholy beers?"

Overall, an absolutely stellar drink. I'll probably grab a few more for the season and for the cellar!

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary Brewer's reserve Grand Cru- a mix of oak aged Bigfoot, Celebration ale and Fresh pale ale!! Dry hopped. yowza!

The color is a glowing amber with amazingly bright red hues. the head is crazy, a thick 3" high at first, perfectly khaki color, very dense and thick with a creamy crown and lace all over the place!

The aroma has a combo of very aromatic hops,classic pine-tree and citric effect and some wild red fruits..very sweet with some earthy pepper underneath and a heady sweet malt effect. The malt is sweet but also has a bit of oak aroma from the aged Bigfoot.

The flavor has major complex malt layers including relaxed, aged Bigfoot heftiness, oak and dry maple syrup comes to mind. The hops just crush your face!! a wonderful dry-earthiness and classic piney and citric fruit flavored hops. The oak-aging relaxes the bitterness from the hops, not at all like fresh Bigfoot. The blend of three classic styles really works here, The classic Pale ale tones everything down and adds balance. This one is just out of this world. The hearty hoppy aftertaste is simply rightous and very mellow as it fades.

The feel might be my favorite aspect of this beer, the head is sooo incredibly creamy and thick it adds multi dimensions to it's enjoyability, delivering the thickest, creamiest feel I can think of. a relaxed aged feel but also with plenty of life so it doesn't ever feel flat. A lucious, smooth and full-bodied feel the whole way. Sip and enjoy!!!

Sierra Nevada has created a masterpiece. Happy 30!!

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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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