Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Our Brewers Reserve - Grand Cru

30th Anniversary - Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Chino, California, USA

American Strong Ale

9.20% ABV

Commercial Description:
Brewers Reserve is a special ale highlighting our pioneering history and the innovative spirit that has carried us through all these years. Is is a marriage of our three most acclaimed ales: Oak-aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale, and fresh Pale Ale blended together and generously dry-hopped. Come join us in celebrating thirty years with this most special brew. Drink it now, or save it for a future anniversary of your own. (

General Pricing:
750ml bottles: ~$12.00 each

This was a left over from my all Sierra Nevada Thanksgiving Beer Dinner. It has been sitting in my beer fridge since Thanksgiving just waiting for me to review it. So let’s get this show on the road.

The beer pours a dark brown with deep hues and a very rich light tan head.

The nose is exquisite with caramel malt aromas along with the most interesting hop complexity and an underlining sweetness that must be from the alcohol. The hop complexity has just about every hop aroma in it; citrus, pine and floral.

Wow, Man O Man, and I mean WOW. This is amazing! It’s rich with robust malts, a unique hop complexity and the rich head that gave that first sip a velvety smooth mouthfeel on top of it all. This seems better than what I remembered from Thanksgiving.

This is so complex it’s going to be hard to describe.

The experience starts off with sweet caramel malts up front on the tip of the tongue but that only last for a split second. It is immediately followed by a building malt robustness and hop bitterness. This robustness builds throughout the middle of the sip into the back-end. By the time you get to the top of the swallow you know this is no light weight; it’s a sipper for sure. The swallow adds a different hop flavor and bitterness. When you get to the finish you expect this to be harsh but it’s not. If fact, it’s the opposite. There is a velvety smoothness on the finish. I still contend that it’s from the rich creamy head. At any rate as robust as this is it is also equally smooth. I realize the contradiction in that but that’s how it is. There is a lingering pine hop bitterness along with a toasted malt flavor and an almost smokiness. I assume the smokiness is from the oak aged Big Foot.
Like I said a while back, this is just amazing. That is, if you like big beers of course.

This is getting even more better as it warms. (Sorry for the Johnism) It is just as rich but smoother. Not as creamy since the head has diminished to just a patchy island but malts are richer and smoother now.

The end of this first snifter is at 65 degrees. I must say that it’s better than ever at this temperature. What an excellently crafted beer.

I just poured a second glass and the velvety smooth mouthfeel is back due to that new rich lush head.

I’m going for an A, maybe even an A+. What an excellent beer! This beer really maintains the best qualities of the Oak Aged Bigfoot, the Celebration Ale and the Pale Ale. It is really impressive to get such a complexity out of three of your standard brews.

This is an intense big beer and not for everyone. But if you like big beers I highly recommend this one.