Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Grand Cru Brewers Reserve, a limited release blend of dry hopped oak-aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale, and fresh Pale Ale by brewing icon Sierra Nevada, poured an amazingly huge, sudsy beige head over a rich dark brown body. Resinous and citric hop aromas held surprisingly strong alongside oak, vanilla, and dark chocolate.
Sierra Nevada Grand Cru opened bright and carbonated, with loads of oak over toffee vanilla and booze right out of the gate. The dryness didn’t subside as the caramel sweetness of Celebration and dark roastiness of Bigfoot came through, and a heated bourbon quality warmed as the ale settled on the tongue. The tannic middle lessened as the ale began to fade, and notes of citrus and pine hinted at in the nose came through, ending the ale on a gripping, dry bitter fade.
Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Grand Cru is an experience any big beer lover should have. Well balanced, unabashedly aggressive, yet subtle and deep as your palette is willing to take you. Grand Cru is one of the rare times where an ale truly feels more akin to an aged premium liquor than “just another beer”. Gone from their site, hopefully this isn’t gone from the shelves… I need to pick up a couple of bottles to through in the closet for a later date.