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30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

934 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 934
Reviews: 654
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bigbelcher on 03-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 934 | Reviews: 654 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY. A holdover from their SN tap takeover, and a great find.

Pours dark, dark black, inky, and velvety-looking. Nice head, maybe an inch, brown color, mocha. Smells roasty and chocolaty.

Very roasty, bitter flavor, bit of smokiness, possibly peat-like, intense dark chocolate. So creamy and bitter at the same time.

Full body, low carbonation.

Awesome find, but sad I'll probably never have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2013 03:53:08 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of Merkur


4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a dark black with a good amount of brown head. About two fingers worth.

Beer smells very strongly of dark chocolate and roasted coffee.

Beer tastes very strong of the same elements in the nose. Fairly malty with a very strong boozy aftertaste during the first sip. The booziness seems to go away as you sip it and the flavors open up as it warms.

Beer is the right mouthfeel. Not too thin and not too thick.

Very enjoyable imperial stout.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2012 15:34:23 | More by Merkur
Photo of drgarage


4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Toronado SF.

Age has been good to this one. When fresh, this struck me as a pretty standard imperial stout. Tasty, but nothing special. With a year on it, it's become something beautiful -- significantly better than Abyss 2010 with the same amount of age on it (at least for this keg).

I won't go on with a bunch of adjectives, but I'll just say it tasted like drinking a pumpernickel pretzel covered in cacao nibs. Just lovely in every regard and no hint of its ABV to be found. Wish I were enjoying another now.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 02:27:00 | More by drgarage
Photo of woosterbill


4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 during their SN tower takeover for New Haven Craft Beer Week; poured into a 3/4 pint glass.

A: Black body with miniscule ruby glints around the extreme edges. One fingerof frothy light-brown head that sticks around admirably and leaves some nice lace. Pretty.

S: Sweet caramel, bitter roast. Big coffee, dark chocolate and tobacco. Light molasses, light booze. Powerful, complex, and impressive.

T: Chocolate up front, with coffee, char, molasses, ash, and more coffee following along. Long, bitter finish. Coffee, charcoal, and alcohol on the aftertaste. It's intense in every way, but the dryness + bitterness of the finish get a bit overbearing.

M: Sticky full body with tons of carbonation. A bit too bubbly for the style, but quite pleasant.

O: Excellent stout. If the extremity of its roastiness had been reined in a bit it would have been world class; as it is, it's not something that I'm dying to drink again, although I would highly recommend it to others as an experience.


Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2011 21:04:57 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Rifugium


4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Anchor Brewing, two craft brewers that made it big, but so far have consistently given us good quality beverages.

Fritz & Ken's imperial stout was served in a Pinocchio's stem glass, dark black with a nice finger of mocha head that retained well and left a bit of lacing. Aroma of dark malts, dark chocolate, and faint boozy notes. Lusciously smooth tasting, with rich dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, a tad nutty--maybe almond?--with a subtle earthy hoppiness near the end. Loved it. Heavy-medium mouthfeel, not quite full-bodied, decadent, and highly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2011 13:44:47 | More by Rifugium
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This black stout's opaque body supports a nice tan head.

Aroma: Dark roasted and near butnt malts with hints of coffee and molasses.

Taste: Rich and moderately complex flavor. Primary flavor is certainly from the dark roasted malts, which bring more smokiness and less coffee that expected based on the aroma. A nice contribution of hops adds complexity and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Light carbonation. Very smooth mouthfeel is not as creamy as ideal, but that might require nitro.

O: A high quality imperial stout, no doubt. While not strongly smoky, I don't care for smokiness in most beers and enjoyed this one a little less because of it. Pushs the border on dark roasting without actually crossing over into the burnt range.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2011 01:48:43 | More by chinchill
Photo of woodychandler


4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 13 Nov 2010. Thanks, TJ's!

It came with a finger of deep-tan head with low retention that quickly dropped into wisps. Color was a deep, dark, inky brown-black with low light penetration. Nose was roasty, slightly smoky setting the stage for my first sip. Mouthfeel was medium with an emphasis on smoke and roastiness (like coffee, only translated to the malt) on the tongue. It served to remind me of my dichotomous love/hate relationship with Impy Stouts - it was lovely with its dark chocolate/smoky flavor on both the tongue and on the finish, but it was enough to push me into the grave after a few sips. Not bad, but also not for this guy.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 22:02:45 | More by woodychandler
Photo of SpdKilz


4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Ladyface a long time ago and I was reminded of my notes after having the 30th Anniversary Barleywine there last night. Taken from notes.

Appearance - Given to me in a standard pint glass (oddly) with about a finger of dark mocha head that left good lacing.

Smell - Wonderful creamy chocolate, coffee, slight alcohol, roasted malts and molasses.

Taste - Better than I was expecting. The coffee is the most prominent at first that gives way to nice cocoa and molasses flavors. Slight hops in the background, followed by roasted malts. Slight smokiness and ends a hint bitter. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, creamy and velvety, slight carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty good. Had this side by side with Ladyface's porter for the hell of it. Both were very good and glad I had it on tap here. Glad I have one sitting at home.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2011 02:44:24 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of mcgwire756

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Stirling Hotel's Sierra Nevada Night. Pured into a tulip.

Pours black with a little brown tint to it. Leaves a small coffee head. Lots of lacing left on the glass. Smells of sweet chocolate and coffee. A lot like Breakfast Stout. Wow the taste and drinkability of this beer is great. Tastes of very refined coffee beans and a dark chocolate at the end. No bitter aftertaste at all which is a pleasant surprise. An awesome stoout that I remembered being much heavier and chewy when I first had it. But on tap it was a perfect blend and my favorite one of the 30th Anniversary Series.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 14:45:22 | More by mcgwire756
Photo of grittybrews


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black into a pint glass with a finger of creamy white head that slowly receded to a thin film. Relatively mild roasty aroma of dark chocolate and slightly bitter espresso.

Moderate carbonation and a full, very creamy mouthfeel. Slightly sweet with flavors of roasty dark chocolate, espresso, and hints of vanilla and molasses leading to a somewhat dry, mildly hoppy finish.

This stout didn't blow me away like the 30th Anniversary Grand Cru or black barleywine, but it was still really enjoyable and I would certainly buy it again if they choose to make it available.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2011 04:46:09 | More by grittybrews
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(This is for a bottle review, but I have also had it on draft, with the same results.) Into a tulip, it poured black with a mocha-colored head, 2 fingers, and great retention and lacing. The nose: roasted malt, dark chocolate, and very very subtle coffee. The flavor however revealed a big dark chocolate midpalate that dissolved to a huge bitter, dry coffee finish. No hint of the alcohol content whatsoever. Surprisingly, the feel was thinner than the appearance would have you believe, and crazy smooth. Excellent for sessioning. The biggest beef I had with this beer was that the nose left a little to be desired.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2010 02:17:04 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of PicoPapa


4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Brooklyn snifter. Pours an almost black color with a thin frothy head. Minimal lacing. Great aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Taste is more of a very dark chocolate flavor with some roasted malts and a hint of some coffee. Mocha aftertaste. This is a great Imperial Stout that only loses points for drinkability due to the big chocolate taste. However its hard to pick up on the over 9% Abv. Great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2010 18:27:41 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of jdense


4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Aces & Ales, Las Vegas NV, 11.24.10, $5 a glass.

1/2 finger medium tan head, slow dissipation with above average lacing. Body is brownish black, no visible carbonation. Nice nose, some milk chocolate, big dose of roasted malts malts, and some floral/grassy hops. Taste mirrors nose, chocolate goodness a bit subsumed by the roast, brown sugar/molasses goopy sweetness in the middle, balanced by noble hops in the finish, fairly complex. Medium mouthfeel, a bit light, good effervescence. Decent drinkability. I thought this was a pretty good beer until I followed it up with Stone BB RIS. Worth a try, curious how cellaring will affect this.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2010 20:37:25 | More by jdense
Photo of readbaron


3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sheffield's.

Pours dark with a bit of tan head. Turns quickly into sticky lacing with excelent retention.

Smells smokey with a hint of currants

Tastes overwhelmingly of smoke and charred oak - but I like it. Reminds me of camping in the mountains. Smoke subsides into strong carbonation, some hops, and a malty, smooth finish.

For a stout it is remarkably crisp and light

While I like the smoky flavor, I think it'd be hard to finish a full bomber.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2010 03:30:57 | More by readbaron
Photo of taigor

New York

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 8oz glass.

A - Poured jet black non-transparent color with medium head that slowly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Roasted malts with slight smokiness, coffee and chocolate.

T - Chocolate and coffee bitterness upfront with slight malt sweetness towards the finish.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Definitely a sipper, excellent imperial stout. Would definitely recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2010 21:00:40 | More by taigor
Photo of EricCioe


4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a Perfect Pint at Binny's South Loop tasting room, this was a gorgeous black with an espresso-crema head that fades to a ring and island. On the nose it's a deep, dark, roasty coffee deliciousness, one of my favorite noses of all time. On the tongue those same flavors come through with a decent bitterness at the back end, like a great bitter coffee. In the mouth it's one of the smoothest, most creamy beers I've ever had. Truly a great beer, perhaps too rich to drink back to back to back, but other than that, one of my favorites. I'll be seeking this out in a bottle next time I'm out. I had no idea what I was overlooking.

EDIT - Had this again last night at a tasting, 20 January 2012. This is still outstanding. The flavors have rounded off a bit, with perhaps a bit less bitterness than when fresh. I wish I had more of this.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2010 01:01:11 | More by EricCioe
Photo of nickd717


3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer in SF.

Pours darkest brown with a nice lasting tan head and good lacing.

Aroma is roasty and surprisingly smoky. Caramel, bakers chocolate, coffee, and charred meat even.

Flavor does not let up on the smoke. This is a unique-tasting beer. I like how they went out on a limb with this one. Roast, sweet caramel, chocolate, coffee, earth, and piney hops.

Medium-full bodied with a fairly smooth mouthfeel and a nice carbonation level.

This is drinkable for the style and ABV. A solid effort overall from two of the guys we owe the awesome beer selection we now have available to...and one of the guys we owe the great appliances we have available to (Maytag).

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 17:48:57 | More by nickd717
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was very excited to try this one and decided to order one up on tap as soon as I saw it flowing. Served cold and poured into a pint glass.

The pour was dark as night, thick and inky black with a nice two finger head of cocoa brown on top that really capped it off just about perfectly. Dripping tan lace down the sides it really just looked the part quite nicely i have to admit.

Aroma is of deep roasted malts, lots of cocoa, a touch of a light peat, or smoked flavor and a really well balanced and nicely put together coffee bitterness. This carried over well into the flavor which was rich, creamy and smooth with hints of light chocolate that welcomed the palate first and were soon followed by a nice blend of coffee, roasted malts, light hop notes that dried the palate out quite nicely and a rich, even, semi dry and sweet finish.

Overall very solid and something I am sure will do well over time. Glad I could dry this one fresh.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2010 01:55:43 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of juhl31


3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-the beer looked amazing. black body, dark brown, tall head with good retention. fine stout for sure

-didn't get much from the smell. some roast for sure, but not much else

-really roasty right off the bat. almost smokey with all that roast. also getting a lot of anise and molasses taste. more sweet than i remember when it first came out

-not as thick as i like, but still a good body. really easy and almost light for an imperial stout

-very good beer. i enjoy ordering and drinking it, but i do remember liking it more when it first came out. glad to try it again on tap down the road though

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2010 04:35:50 | More by juhl31
Photo of dbossman


4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a steady one inch light brown head--great retention; lacing is okay for the style

S: Heavily roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee resonate; bready with a subtle hop presence; fairly muted aromas overall, however

T: Rich with a nice vanilla and dry chocolate flavor; alcohol is present but not overwhelming; the flavors are quite complex--anice, perhaps?

F: Very creamy with great mouth coating

D: A very drinkable--though rich like a creamy shake--stout; alcohol is well masked; all in all a delicious version of the style

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2010 02:58:05 | More by dbossman
Photo of Axic10

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Teresa's during Philly Beer Week.

Appearance: Dark brownish/black with a finger of mocha colored foam.

Smell: Strong dark chocolate, roasted coffee and roasted malt.

Taste: Dark chocolate, espresso and burnt malt. Very tasty

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and carbonated nicely.

Drinkability: I would love it they made this a seasonal or a regular beer. It is just so amazing. Cellaring 4 bottles to do a tasting with the other 3 beers.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2010 02:33:04 | More by Axic10
Photo of BARFLYB


4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at grey lodge pub

A- black with a dark tan head and spotty lacing.

S- malty, chocolate, cocco, roast, big and bold.

T- a big stout here, big taste of roast plus dark coffee with chocolate bites going into a slight smoke finishing kinda bitter with some hops. This is big stuff.

M- above medium might as well say full here. Malty rich and coating, carbed up.

D- I'm good with my ten ounces or so. This is big so it has to be repected. Would love to try this in a bottle in a year or two.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2010 02:16:32 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the grey lodge pub.

A- super dark brown bordering on pitch black with a finger of tan creamy head.

S- dark roasted coffee and bakers chocolate. Mild sweetness and hints of dark fruit.

T- deep and roasty malts with coffee and chocolate. Some molasses and over ripe black berries. Some nutella on dark bread.

M- full bodied and mid to lite carb.

D- for a big stout and with this level of flavor its very drinkable. Good stuff. Congrats fritz and ken on many years of spreading the craft beer love.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2010 02:03:57 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of CrellMoset


4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beer Run, served in a pint glass (against my better judgment!). Enjoyed a little while ago, but reviewed from extensive notes.

Appearance: A great deep, robust brown - capped by a moderately tanned head - that's nearly opaque, with perhaps faint hints of dull garnet around the edges. Some great sheets of lace and runny, streaky, sloppy blobs cling to the sides of the glass, at first somewhat majestically, but ultimately a little less impressive as it warms and as you begin to sip on it. Still, a great looking beer.

Aroma: Deep roasted coffee is the dominant impression here, along with plenty of char and - particularly as it warms - tons of warming, deeply roasted toffee. Agitation coaxes out a few interesting fruit notes, predominantly raspberries.

Taste: Terribly robust and wonderfully toasty. Baker's cocoa is large and up front, backed up by earthy, dirty toast and slight milk sugars. It's rather sweet, perhaps more so than I would have expected from the nose, with that same big dark toffee coming through very strongly. Faint dark fruits and slight berry notes follow, but not nearly strong enough to come across in the same way that those great, yeasty RISs do - this one's much more toasty, roasty, charred.

Mouthfeel: Thick, even moderately syrupy, with some subdued, mild carbonation, making for a smooth and slightly (barely) crispy mouth.

Drinkability: A great celebration of the anniversary of a great brewery. I can't say I was blown away by it, but seeing SN get outside the box and try a few extreme, more experimental brews while simultaneously maintaining that amazing quality control and high regard for drinkability makes this one definitely worth it. Beware the 9.2%, but don't be too wary!

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2010 19:39:45 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of phishgator


4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Icehouse in Punta Gorda, FL for the US match this past weekend. Appearance is perfect, big tan head with no light through the body of darkness. The aroma is bitter sweet chocolate and roasted coffee. The taste is exactlly the same as the aroma. The body is full and this is a sipper, but smooth and alcohol is well hiden. Probalby wouldn't drink more than a 750 ml in on sitting, but I have a few aging nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2010 20:24:04 | More by phishgator
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30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 934 ratings.