Wednesday, November 10, 2010

424. Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Our Brewers Reserve Grand Cru

Our Brewers Reserve Grand Cru is the last of the four beers produced by Sierra Nevada for their 30th Anniversary; we haven’t drank the Jack and Ken’s Barleywine yet, but don’t worry—it’s a-comin’. We’ve got the trifecta, now we’ve shooting for the quad-fecta. As the bottle notes, Grand Cru is 22% ale aged in bourbon barrels, and 78% ale. Added to the rest of the Sierra Nevada beers we’ve tried, this makes ten: 30th Anniversary Charlie, Fred, & Ken’s Imperial Helles Bock, Southern Hemisphere Harvest, Bigfoot, 30th Anniversary Fritz and Ken’s Ale, Kellerweis, Celebration, Torpedo Extra IPA, Anniversary Ale 2009 and Harvest Wet Hop Ale 2008.

Grand Cru pours a hazy copperish orange with a creamy, long lasting tan head. The nose is rich caramel and dry biscuit malt that is both creamy and lightly tannic/oaky, with some hoppiness accompanying the aromas across the profile—although nothing that specifically stands out. Flavors start surprisingly restrained and light, there are dry, cracker-y malt flavors before a shift to caramel; the middle has bitterness, but with not much in the way of distinct hop flavor, although there is a touch of both pine and resin. Both Elli and I expected this to be hoppier. The finish is creamy and bitter, with the bitterness outlasting the creaminess and creating a nice drying tackiness on the back of the tongue and throat. Grand Cru has a bright but rounded carbonation—it starts off brisk, but then rolls smooth without as much of a bite as one might initially expect. There is a fair amount of creaminess to the body and mouthfeel as well; the medium to heavy body is lightened by the bitterness and the carbonation. While there might be a slight amount of alcohol warmth, the bitterness masks it almost completely, and it drinks much smoother and easier than a 9.2% ABV beer. Much smoother. As well, Grand Cru is not really what we expected—the three beers combined in this one are certainly all vintage Sierra Nevada, but the combination creates something distinctly different than Sierra Nevada’s normal modus operandi. And that, we think, says something important about Sierra Nevada. Marking this as their Grand Cru gives me hope about beer, brewing, and, more importantly, Sierra Nevada. Here’s to 30 more, my man.

From the bottle: “Brewers Reserve is a special ale highlighting our pioneering history and the innovative spirit that has carried us through all these years. It 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.”

ABV: 9.2%

Oh, and I drank it out of the glass I poured it into. So suck it.


No comments:

Post a Comment