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

30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru
Liked This Beer
4.21 w/ 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 801 |  Reviews: 465
Photo of Urbancaver
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- burnt mahogany hues with lots of head

Smell- hops and oaky hints

Taste- smooth bourbon and strong hops that blend nicely with the rest of the beer

Mouthfeel- smooth and sits nicely on the tongue

Drinkability- very drinkable for a high alcohol hoppy beer

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Photo of bfields4
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow this is a beautiful beer. Huge dense slightly off white head. Nice and frothy with a great lacing. Crisp clear filtered amber body.

I get a lot of the oak from the Bigfoot. A nice piny earthy hops start to come through as it warms. Some very sweet caramel from the malt almost a honey smell to it.

The bigfoot malt body and resiny fresh hop hit first and hardest. A slight hint of dark fruit. The oak is very mellow, but there. A nice toffee flavor. There is a little bit of citrus lingering around. There are a lot of subtle flavors here that get a little lost in the complexity, but they're all done so well it's hard to hate.

A slightly chewy body. Very good mouthfeel. A bit on the boozy side. Very similar to Oaked Arrogant Bastard (not a bad thing). Probably slightly better. I wish the fresh hops would come out just a tad more to really give this beer a good bitter bite.

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

Review from notes taken 11/20/10.

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a snifter, this brew appears a crystal clear amber red color. A creamy yellowish stained head sits atop the brew. Patchy lace clings to the glass. A swirl revives the head that quickly dissolves.

This brew smells of leafy green hops, citrus and pine. A scent of fusel alcohol is evident before the onset of some green yeastiness. As the brew warms, it picks up more of a fruity aspect.

The taste is herbal resinous hops like pine. Alcohol is upfront that fades to hops that last with some spiciness and bitter sharpness. There is a light toasty grain flavor that imparts mild sweetness but overall this is one-sided with the bitterness and alcohol winning the fight.

A medium bodied offering with light carbonation. It is oily and a tad hot. A dryness hits the tongue with the most faint indication of oak aging as the brew warms. For everything that went into the making of this brew the subtle changes make this a hard one to differentiate between a higher octane celebration offering.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a very huge light tan head, so much head, fades at a slow rate, tons of lacing along the way down, had to leave it alone for a while before I could even drink it which is pretty much the only reason for missing a perfect 5.

Smell is a good mix of caramel malt and hops, the hops are on the forefront with their piney scent.

For all the head that it produced, there's actually very little carbonation in the mouth, well there's not to say there isn't any it's just very very soft, creates a decent creaminess, the hops show up in the aftertaste, it's actually more sweet than I thought it would be, caramel malt and what tastes like honey makes quite the show, bit cloying at times but not overly so, the strength is well hidden.

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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.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, poured into my Duvel tulip

Sierra Nevada Grand Cru wavers between a deep maroon and straight brown, depending on the exact lighting. Sizable highlights vacillate between cherry and burnt orange accordingly. The light tan cap is absolutely towering, and retention is absolutely off the charts, this thing sticks around for a long time and fades slowly. Retention is also good, but isn't quite impressive enough for a 5 in appearance. The nose is very good, a more than solid punch of citrus and pine American hoppiness laid over a caramel foundation. The flavor takes that as a start and builds on it. Hops are still the loudest, with caramel being quite assertive as well. Some subtle nuances shine through as well in the form of a hint of oakiness and a certain warming from the alcohol (though not a burn). The beer has a medium body, I was actually expecting it to be a little bit more full than it actually is. That's probably a good thing though, because I find Grand Cru to be a little bit undercarbonated, and with a heavier beer the mouthfeel could have taken on a very syrupy characteristic. This one manages to largely avoid that problem though, but the mouthfeel isn't really noteworthy in any way. Overall I really enjoyed Sierra Nevada's Grand Cru, to me it has all of the hop flavor of Bigfoot, without a bitterness bite that can be over the top sometimes. It's a fitting close to their run of anniversary beers this year.

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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 waltonc
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another really good entry in the Sierra 30th anniversary lineup.

A: Pours an appealing mahogany with light tan, nearly white, head.

S: Wow, some seriously aromatic floral hops blended nicely with a strong caramel malt base. A hint of orange as well. One of the better smelling hoppy beers I've been involved with.

T: Again, a well-struck balance of hops and malt here. Moderately sweet caramel malts, pine hop bitterness, feint orange citrus, and a dab of oak (no bourbon. Not sure where some reviewers are getting that other than the association of "bourbon" with "oak").

M: Medium bodied with high carbonation

D: Overall, quite a good beer. Not sure this will age well with all the hops though. I may age a bottle for a year just to see how it turns out, but seems like this will be terrible if cellared for too long.

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Photo of portia99
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked & caged bottle poured into a Bruery tulip. This is made up of 3 of my favorite offerings...how can this not be good. Let's see.

A - Bottle opens with a loud pop that sends the cats scrambling across the room. Pours a deep amber color with excellent clarity. 3 fingers of dense, whipped creamy tan head tops off the glass nicely...good staying power, finally giving way after several minutes, slowing fading to the surface leaving thick webs of lacing all over the glass. Just about perfect.

S - The aroma of fresh citrusy hops hits me from a couple feet away from the glass. Grapefruit, oranges and some fresh cut grass...also some spiciness from the hops too. Very minor malt contribution fights from underneath the hops giving a bit of caramelly aroma. Think I'm picking up some of the oak in there too (but no bourbon), but it might be the power of suggestion. Hard to get a strong influence from anything beyond the hops...not that it is a complaint.

T - This is a very intensely flavored beer. A noticeable alcohol component up front, first picked up on the inhale. This is immediately followed by, quite literally, a ton of hops. This reminds me a lot of the first time I tried Stone's Ruination years ago and fell in love with it. Sharp and intense bitterness matched only by the high level of citrusy hop flavors found here too. The oak is way more noticeable in the flavor than the aroma, but I still don't get the bourbon aspect here...and I am trying hard. This tastes much less "clean" than most other Sierra Nevada hoppy ales...thinking this is coming from the woodiness, but not sure - figuring they used their standard house yeast, but would love to know for sure.

M - Medium bodied with a lively medium-high carbonation. Lots of oak...becomes more evident as the beer warms up a bit. Also a bit boozy with some alcohol warmth. Intensely bitter with lingering flavors lasting into the aftertaste. This is really sticky and resiny...more than anything else I've had recently.

D - I'm loving this beer, but it is also kicking my ass...more than other beers of similar strength too. I'm loving the intensely bitter and hoppy flavors here. This is right up my alley...but this is the first beer of the night and I'm feeling like it is gonna be the last too - downing the bottle by myself is a very enjoyable experience but I'm glad I am at home and don't have to leave the house tonight.

T -

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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 ColdPoncho
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This cork is literally superglued in the bottle.

Ok so the pour - Nice ruby copper color with a big off-white head.

It's a well balanced malt and hop character in the nose, with some diversity in there. Hops dominate and it's a lot of grapefruit and pine.

Wow. This tastes great! A lot of bitter hops which are brilliantly complimented by some drying wood flavors (hard to tell if there's bourbon on it) on the finish. All supported nicely by some solid malty backbone.

Feels good, too. Smooth and robust, not heavy.

It's fairly drinkable, maybe a bit strong, but that's not so bad.

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Photo of Florida9
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear deep brown-red in color. Forms an extra large, big bubbled, tan head. Excellent retention and lots of lacing.

S: Grapefruit, oak, and pine. Some caramel malt.

T: Interestingly, this beer starts with a peppery bite, before the slightly sweet caramel malt comes into play. Then flavors of grapefruit and citrus, with a moderately resiny, spicy bitterness on the finish. Very tasty.

M: On the heavier side of medium with appropriate carbonation.

D: A very good blend of three fine beers, that offers an nice balance of malt, hops, spice and alcohol. And despite it's assertive flavors, I found this one to be a very easy drinker.

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Photo of gameface23
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber/dark copper with a pillowy soft head that leaves intense lacing.

S: The aroma of Bigfoot is really assertive, but it is mellowed slightly by the celebration and SNPA. I was expecting for more of a hop aroma due to the dry-hopping, but it just isn't as in your face as I was hoping.

T: Caramel sweetness, a reasonably hefty alcohol kick, good hop taste and bitterness. It finishes with a slight tannin taste that has a small taste of coconut and vanilla.

M: Medium bodied.

D: It's a good beer, but not a great beer. Maybe I was anticipating this one with a little too much fury.

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Photo of Lolli1315
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A hazy copper colors with touches of orange to round out the color. About a finger or maybe a tad bit more of an off white creamy head that will not disappear. Along with the creamy head comes a decent amount of lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel makes a brief appearance before being pushed aside by some tannic notes along with a hop presence, and a slightly confusing hop presence that I can't seem to pick out anything specific. The bitterness and woody characteristics continue to the finish with some notes of alcohol.

T- The sweetness and loads of caramel begin the beer as the flavor profile then begins to take more from the smell profile. The almost weird hop presence increases in the middle of the beer while the alcohol noticeability begins to develop as well. The caramel continues as well with some biscuity notes. The oak and tannin character begins to shine through towards the middle of the beer as the beer fades into a combination of bitterness, oak, and alcohol.

M- Medium to medium thick body, leading towards the thick. Creamy mouthfeel as well making this very enjoyable as the mouth is left dry afterwards.

D- The size of the beer along with the noticeability of the alcohol makes this one difficult to drink, but all in all a nice beer.

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Photo of JoePat
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark amber/brown with a light kaki head that slowly dissipates with massive lacing.

I get a lot from this beer. Very clean with huge citrus hops, caramel malts, orange peel?.

I get a lot of sweet caramel, buscuit, spicey, citrus hops, floral. A very clean malty flavor almost maple syrup like.

This has a smooth silky mouthfeel that just rolls over the tongue. Way too drinkable for a 9% beer. This beer is a true Grand Cru.

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

750 ml bottle pured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber with a solid head. Good retention and a fair amount of lacing. Looks great.

S: Citrus, grapefruit and pine hop aromas are most noticeable, balanced nicely with caramel malts. Not too much alcohol.

T: A wonderful combination of classic Sierra Nevada hop flavors. Citrusy and piney with a great balance of malt. Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming. A tiny amount of oak adds a nice touch. Smooth and delicious, lingers just long enough.

F: Medium carbonation. Very smooth and creamy with just the right amount of warming. On the higher end of what I would consider to be medium bodied.

D: Much more drinkable than I expected for the ABV. The beer seems to be dominated much more by the celebration and pale ales than the bigfoot. Wouldn't have more than a bomber, but that's no problem.

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

750ml bottle from somewhere, snowy saturday beer

dig the concept of this beer - Sierra Nevada is really stepping up their game lately.

appearance: served in my ale asylum goblet - dark amber body, pillowy beige head with great retention. Very nice looking beer.

smell: floral hops - aroma profile is most in line with Celebration Ale - ruby red grapefruit, citrus zest, pine sap, caramel

taste: fresh hops, bitter grapefruit, zesty citrus, caramel and sticky pine. Oak was undetected on the nose, but has a pretty well defined flavor. Whiskey, pine, and wood compliment the wonderful trio of hop bombs

mouthfeel: smooth, creamy, lingering bitterness with a nice alcohol warming

drinkability: sipper, but nice

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Photo of bsp77
4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from 750ml bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Slightly hazy burnt amber with thick, foamy, cream-colored head that leaves lacing on everything it touches.

Smell: Strong orange driven citrus, light grapefruit, and toasted & caramel malt. Somewhat spicy as well with a touch of pine.

Taste: Fantastic balance. The citrusy (orange, grapefruit) hops play very nicely with the caramel and toffee driven malt backbone. Pine, spice and bitterness rear up toward the finish. Don't really detect the oak-aging, but perhaps the overall profile has been tempered as a result. Really does taste like a happy mix between a Barleywine and an IPA, but does not really seem like a DIPA. As it warms in the glass, the Barleywine profile becomes more apparent. I think the Pale Ale contributes the orange driven hops, as Celebration and Bigfoot are more along the grapefruit end of the citrus spectrum.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, with a full, creamy body that is very dry and warming.

Drinkability: This is just an unbelievable beer, almost on par with their Celebration Ale, which is my desert island beer. Easily the best of the 30th Anniversary lineup.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into tulip glass.

Pours dark auburn with red hues, a thick head bubbled up, retaining a solid film which left little lacing.

A somewhat subdued nose with pine and herbal hops, and a little sweet and citrus fruit.

Plenty of hops up front with a bite of bitterness. Pine and citrus rind with a touch of grassyness slice through. A nice meaty malt backbone with caramel, dark fruit and cherry maintain the middle. There's a noticeable sweetness which doesn't go overboard. Alcohol warmth is present with another blast of hops at the finish.

Heavier medium body, a little chewy and sticky feel. Decent drinking especially for the higher abv, although this wasn't what I expected, as the beer contained more elements from the pale ale and celebration ale rather than Bigfoot. Definitely not a poor beer, but tough to go back and buy another $9 bottle.

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Photo of scottiesq
4.89/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, and amazing!!! Just had this beer with two excellent winter "offerings." It blew them away. It may be the only time I could not stop thinking I was tasting "pine" and still thought it was balanced (clearly, it had a lot more going on).
I am going back to the store and buying many.

Appearance: Hazy, golden brown

Aroma:Three winter brews in, hard to discern, but it was definitely pleasant from the first sip on.

Taste: Hops and pine, and never better in terms of balance, with enough malt to keep them in relative check.

Mouthfeel: Nice balance again. Definitely carbonated, but not overly so. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: It is outstanding! I am glad I tried it in a large bottle format because it was definitely better after it warmed a bit from the fridge.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle. Good pop from the cork. Crystal clear in the bottle prior to chilling. Slight chill haze in the glass. Ruby amber color with a healthy rusty white head that lasts and laces the glass nicely. Fantastic aroma of citrus hops. Very fresh! Nice carbonation. Dry with slight tannic undertones from the oak aging. Perfect amount of oak. The alcohol gives the beer a warming finish. Not bitter. Delicious!!!

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

Poured from bomber into a snifter

A - Pours a deep amber color with a rich, 2 finger off white colored head. Head thins as you drink leaving light spotty lacing.

S - Definately smells like celebration and pale ale, I have never had the bigfoot so i cant say if i smell that in there... hoppy, caramel, little oak, sweet smelling, light booze scent

T - follows the nose fairly well; very nice oak barrel caramel taste up front, id imagine thats the bigfoot... after that i taste the celebration and its hoppy sweetness, and the finish tastes much like pale ale a little bitter but still a lingering hoppyness

M - very smooth, full bodied, rich, hoppy resinous feel sticks around, nice level of carbonation

D - Very rich so i couldnt see having more than a bomber, even a pint would be enough...

Overall very tasty and i really liked how you could taste 3 distinct beers within one. Had way more flavor and body than i was expecting from a sierra nevada product. If you are a sierra nevada fan i would definately recommend trying.

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Photo of Genuine
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a clean pint glass,

The body was a nice burnt amber in color, with a off white, head that had awesome head retention, leaving scads of lacing down the glass

Smell - Immediately I noticed it had the nose of Celebration and bigfoot, I was able to pick those out right away, and yet separate them. Citrusy goodness from the cascade hops, a nice aroma of the bigfoot malts galloped on by as well.

Taste - I'm so glad that the taste didn't let the nose down at all. Very easy to distinguish Celebration, big foot and the pale from each other. The first hit I got was celebration, followed by bigfoot making his presence known and yet, being smooth as the pale ale.

Mouthfeel - Chalk this one up as full bodied, just as the flavor. The carbonation was just perfect for this one, not light, but not overly done.

Drinkability - I could have one bomber of this a night. A wonderful brew!

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91.1% out of 100 with 801 ratings
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