This beer represents a bitter sweet moment for me; the fourth and final installment of Sierra Nevada's wonderful series brewed to celebrate their 30th anniversary. First there was Fritz and Ken Ale (an Imperial Stout), then in July we got the Charlie, Fred, and Ken Helles, followed by Jack and Ken's Barleywine in August. While these beers not only celebrated Sierra Nevada but other founders of the craft beer movement. This last one though is all about celebrating Sierra Nevada, its a blend of Oak-Aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale, and their flagship Pale Ale.
The Beer: The Grand Cru weighs in at 9.2% and pours an orangish amber with a thick dense creamy head of taupe colored foam. Lots of hops on the nose, some caramel malts and toffee as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with tons of hops present, sweet caramel and toffee, treacle, before leaving lingering hop resins on the tongue. Some notes of alcohol as well. Chewy, very drinkable, but lots of citrus and piney hops. This one is very good now, but I think will age very well. The hops will lessen and the malt characteristics will come to the fore front. Sierra Nevada did an outstanding job with this series of beers and went out with a bang. Here is to at least 30 more years.