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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 325 Drink: Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Grand Cru

Sierra Nevada Brewing has been celebrating its 30th anniversary this year by releasing a series of special brews in 750 milliliter cork finished bottles. The first three brews were collaborator beers made with some craft brewing legends. The final beer is a collaboration between three of Sierra Nevada's legendary brews.

You can check out my reviews of the first three beers in the series via these links: Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Stout, Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Bock, and Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Ken & Jack's Ale.

If you ask most craft beer drinkers to name the 10 most important craft brewers during the last 30 years, Sierra Nevada would come up on virtually all of those lists. And if you asked the same group to name their favorite Sierra Nevada beers, Bigfoot Barley Wine, Celebration Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale would be at the top of those lists. That's why the fourth and final installment of this series has been so anticipated. The brewery combined oak-aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale and Pale Ale, then dry hopped the meritage.

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Grand Cru Brewers Reserve Oak-Aged Ale pours a reddish brass color and has a thick off white head of foam. The beer has some very floral and pine hop aromas. The flavor produces some signature citrus hop notes up front that come under the influence of the oak. The beer is 9.2 percent alcohol by volume and you can taste the kick a bit. Overall, the beer is balanced in a Sierra Nevada sense -- the hops are king, but malt notes sweep forward at key points. This is a proper cap on a series that is worthy of 30 years of fine beer making at Sierra Nevada.

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