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

Not Rated.
30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

658 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 658
Hads: 978
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 6.22%
Wants: 62
Gots: 181 | FT: 7
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:
Beer added by: bigbelcher on 03-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 658 | Hads: 978
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Premiere Gourmet. Pours thick and creamy black with off white head. Big roasted coffee aroma. Taste is a bold in-your face stout, with expresso coffee and chocolate. I noticed less chocolate as the bitter an slightly astringent flavours built up. I finished it. Not so balanced, really toward the bitter side of the dial.Above average mouthfeel. (357 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin film. Random splotches of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, espresso, and cocoa powder. Taste is of dark roasted malt, espresso beans, bitter dark chocolate, and a slightly smoky or roasty flavor. There is a roasty/smoky bitterness on the palate after each sip. A low level of carbonation makes for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout from Sierra Nevada but I wasn't expecting the smoky flavor at all. (535 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Uncorking this bottle resulted in a huge pop. It poured dark black with very little head, but some bubbles consistently remained around the edges of the glass.
S: Aromas of dark malts dominate the smell and there are some hints of chocolate, coffee and licorice. Faint smells of alcohol become detectable as the beer warms up.
T: The flavors mainly consist of roasted malts, although there is a good balance and some bitterness from the hops comes across, particularly in the finish.
M: It feels smooth, rich, and dry on the palate.
D: Although the alcohol is hidden rather well, this beer is better sipped. I couldn't picture having more than one of these in a single sitting. (680 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Incredible look to this one. Pours a thick black with a Duvel-esque dark tan head which lasts for ages and settles down to a permanent half-finger at the top of the glass.

S: Not the greatest. The roasted malt seems to take everything over and the faint hints of coffee, chocolate, and brown sugar really get left behind.

T: Not quite as off-balanced as the nose, but the roasted character of the malt still gets a bit in the way, overwhelming everything else. Once you get past that, some pretty good flavors.

M: A little too must roast, leaving a dry taste in my mouth. Sometimes nice with a good coffee beer, but this was strictly a malt-driven dryness, and I didn't particularly care for it.

D: Not bad overall, but I was definitely expecting better from two legendary brewers. I've got some more to hang onto, and I'll see how it develops over time. (862 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's a beauty, with a viscous black color and a rocky, two finger head that coats the sides of the chalice; impressive stickage

Smell: Roasty and chocolatey, with undertones of char; hints of alcohol come through as well

Taste: Dark chocolate and graham cracker sweetness, up front, with a developing roasty character and hop kick that arrives by mid-palate; hints of roasted pecan appear as well; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors dominate though the roasty elements persist into the finish; nice example of char that adds character to the aftertaste without taking away from the other elements

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; exceptionally creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Love the chocolate flavors, the hop balance and the mouthfeel (Tasting this again in December 2010, I added a few comments and bumped the score in several places - the beer just gets better with a bit of aging.) (924 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

definitely an elite stout that has benefited from some time in the cellar. same as all of this series. pours a rich milk chocolatey color with a small tan head. heavy nose of alcohol, chocolate, and coffee beans fresh ground. flavor is very roasty, evolving into a nice semisweet chocolate tone with a mild bitter coffee/dry hopped type finish. mouthfeel is nice, just right for this beer. not super bubbly, but not syrupy and heavy like a lot of big stouts can be. this was a lovely bottle of beer, and one of the more well balanced big stouts ive had. bravo, this whole series was gold (587 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fritz & Ken's is an outstanding beer that is both powerful and poinient with roast, malt, and hops. Simple in its design, yet complex in its strength and execution.

A deep, deep dark brown beer inches extremely close to opaque black. Truely viscous with a motor oil consistency. The beer carries a dense and mousse-like medium tan head that laces and retains as well as any beer can. The look of this beer rivals the best.

Deep aromas of roasted coffee, cocoa, and molassas are accompanied by softer malt notes and bold hop character. Comming from these guys, I guess a non-hoppy beer cannot be considered.

Flavors of the roast are very dominat- showing deep espresso flavors, burnt cocoa, and lighter elements of char and campfire. The roast is backed up by flavors of molassas and malted milk (think Whoppers candies). No fruits (maybe a background licorice note), but the estery mix is foregone by the aggressive impact of pine, citrus, and fresh cut grass derived from the deliberate hop additions. Hop flavor rivals but don't overwhelm the roast, but the bitterness from them give a complex balance to the sweet along side of the acrid roasted grains. The aggressive hop character seems to accentuate a phenolic character and lacquor taste burried deep in the beer but as the carbonation lessens, these flavors are much less noticable.

Definately as viscous as the appearance advertises as the initial sips are thick, chewy, and robust. But as the abundant carbonation subsides, the beer lessens in intensity and becomes quite drinkable for it's strength and aggressive taste. Hop bitterness and alcohol help to dry the beer considerably but the beer is to remain malty and roasty 'til the bitter end.

This is a fantastic beer. Memories of Bell's Batch 7000 come to mind. I'm having trouble deciding whether the hop flavor and bitterness help or hurt the drinkability of the beer. Aaah, the delimas of a Beer Advocate... (1,930 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one poured out as a very dark looking black color, the head was pretty large and needed time to settle down before I could take a sip. The lacing was pretty nice here, seemed to be pretty sticky. The smell of this stout had a big amount of hops in it, I was getting more hops than the chocolate malts and stuff from this brew. The taste of the beer had a good bite to it, some piney hops flavors mixed with the soft roasted malts to really dry things out in your mouth. The mouthfeel was on the heavier side which was nice. Overall I liked this brew but I still didn't think it was the best one. (600 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large foamy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma of liquorice with some sweet malt is bordering on being grossly sweet but still manager to retain some balance. Taste is somewhat too sweet with some liquorice notes and some rich sweet notes with no coffee/black chocolate or roasted notes I usually associated with the style. Body is fuller then average with great carbonation and a creamy texture. Not bad but too sweet for my own taste, prefer my imperial stout to be more bitter. (545 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip. The body is pitch black with three fingers of thick tan froth. The head settles slowly to a half-inch cap, which remains solid for at least half an hour. This is an unusually beautiful imperial stout, and the bottle deserves note as well, corked and caged with a simple but elegant label.

The aroma is rife with rich chocolate malt, roasted grain and black licorice. Hints of spicy, savory woodsmoke, citrusy hops and alcohol are noticeable on a lower level.

Chocolate malt is strong on the palate, along with nougat, leafy hops, toasted nuts and a bit of smoke. Roast and licorice present themselves near the finish, lending a beautiful balance to the initial richness. The thick, chewy texture is offset by an upper-moderate level of carbonation. This is a remarkably balanced beer, a no-nonsense example of the style with plenty of finesse and no gimmicks. High recommendations. (910 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It's that time of year again, the presage to the holiday season, where I pay tribute to the horrible shared cultural memory of Prohibition, by marking American Repeal Day, in the only way that I humbly can - by cracking the biggest, baddest bottle of Yankee adult potable in my fridge. This year, the honor (American spelling, just this one time) falls to this 25oz bomber, procured from lovely Missoula, MT this past summer.

This beer pours a solid black, with ever so slight reddish edges, and a voluminous tower of dense foamy milk chocolate head, which settles maddeningly slowly, rendering some of the thickest panelled lace that I have yet seen. It smells of roasted malt, dry chocolate, coffee grounds, campfire smoke that has seen salted meat, and bitter floral hops. The taste is strong chocolate malt, a bit more bitter coffee, a bit of briny smoke, and edgy earthy, floral hops. Any and all booze is so well integrated, I barely register any additional warming. The carbonation is quite soft, the body big, slick, smooth, and dead creamy - the chocolate milk metaphor applies here too. It finishes sweet and chocolaty, the various bitter elements still mostly swamped.

One well produced big stout - enveloping, warming sans the heat, and still charmingly easy to put back. (1,285 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sheets of tan lacing in the glass, long lasting skim of chocolatey froth. Black with a reddish brown ring at the edges, in the light.

Sweet roasty coffee aroma, creamy and toasty. Toasted almonds come through, with some cafe con leche behind it. Definitely milky/lactic in character, with some bittersweet chocolate.

Creamy, full body, lots going on in the flavor. Deep roast, dark chocolate, coffee, with a nice undercurrent of hop bitterness. Woody tobacco, bakers chocolate, coffee, all the hallmarks of a nice stout. Very smooth, also like a cafe con leche. It hangs on the palate, but is never cloying. The residual bitterness fades into a roasty aftertaste. Overall, it's a really enjoyable sipper. (708 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (940 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small yet thick, caramel colored head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy, soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and some boozy alcohol. There was also a mild coffee/espresso aroma.

T - Great blend of sweet and bitter. Chocolate, caramel, toffee and dark fruits provide the sweetness while coffee and piney hops bring the bitter.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - This was really pretty good. I'm glad I got an opportunity to try this one. (579 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great to see this collaboration.Poured into a tulip glass a ink black,a large billowing mocha head atop that left rings of lace behind as it settled into a frothy top.Big bitter chocolate,mollases,and espresso roast in the nose,a lingering fruity tinge shows through as well,alot of good stuff going on.Robust dark roast coffee on the palate,even a light smokiness come in to play.Highly roasted with bitter chocolate,this is a nice not overly sweet impy stout,I really enjoyed this alot. (488 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Toronado SD

A: The pour is almost black in color with a fluffy tan head that leaves sheets of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: The nose is a bit one dimensional, really only giving off notes of coffee and roasted malt. There's a bit of bitter chocolate, but it is subdued.

T: I was pleased by the fact that the depth of flavors I was hoping for was there. A nice bit of roast and coffee flavor along with plenty of bitter chocolate, and some sweet caramel. There was also a slight smokiness to it which I didn't necessarily expect.

M: The body is medium with a creamy carbonation. There is a touch of alcohol warmth to it as well.

D: There is a touch of alcohol presence to the beer, but it really doesn't detract from the enjoyment. I really liked this beer and look forward to aging a couple bottles of it. (828 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Audacious-looking black body crowned with a head of tan-colored foam.

Smell: Roasty, charred maltiness with full notes of bold coffee, cocoa bars, blackstrap molasses, and acrid smoke. Minor secondary notes of citrus and quality, soul-warming alcohol buried underneath the stronger malt scents.

Taste: The well-roasted malts unquestionably have command over the taste, imparting deep flavors of espresso, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and smoked French vanilla beans. Medium sweetness. Solid load of hops with tastes of pine needles and citrus zest. The fair amount of hop bitterness couples with a hint of astringency from the burnt malts. Roasty, warming, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-low carbonation. Very smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Simply, it's a quality, tasty stout. I'll cheerfully chuck a few bottles away in the cellar. (874 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Two and a half fingers of light brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The foam settles slowly and leaves a thick coating of lace on the glass.

S - A rich aroma of brown malt character and earthy hops with a little bit of smoke. Molasses and chicory as well as some spicy alcohol.

T - Thick caramel malt up front with some dark bread notes and bittersweet chocolate. The malt character intensifies in the middle with more dark chocolate, brown sugar/molasses and some slightly phenolic smoke. It finishes with a slightly acrid black malt bite that is a bit sour as well as fairly strong hop bitterness that imparts an earthy, spicy hop flavor. Lingering smoke, molasses, and spiced coffee flavors coat the palate and do not fade even after the beer is long gone.

M - A thick, oily body, moderately high carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - This is a big beer, and while it is full of complex flavors and aromas, they come off a bit disjointed in the end. There is a nice note of rich caramel and bread up front that is quickly overwhelmed by spicy, bitter characteristics of chocolate, turkish coffee, and smoke. These are things that I look for in a big, dark beer and usually signal depth and harmony, but in this case they clash with the malt sweetness and are turned harsh by subtle, but medicinal alcohol and phenolic notes. This is by no means a failure of a beer, and I did enjoy the bottle that I had, but I could not help but be disappointed in the lost potential that the cork on my table represented. This beer has all the hallmarks of a great imperial stout, but it needs time; the label says it is perfect for aging, and I have no doubt of that. I would imagine that with a year or two of cellar time this would mature into a very nice, complex stout, though I am forced to review it as what it is right now and at the moment it is less than it likely could be. (1,894 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Was able to get a second crack at this guy thanks to the final bottle on the shelf at the local Binny's. It pours an unforgiving obsidian topped by over a finger of light tan foam, about half of which seems to overstay its welcome. The nose comprises figs, dates, walnuts, roasted malts, molasses, and a touch of smoked bratwurst. The taste focuses on the roast, while adding what seems like a decent hoppy bitterness (whether or not it's hops creating this bitterness is beside the point) and some bitter dark chocolate (I can differentiate between the two biternesses...I think...). Some blackenedness/char is in there as well. The body is lightly heavy, with a light carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a solid stout, but one that falls just a little short for me. Still, it is pretty tasty... (841 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: This beer is black with no light getting through at all. there is a one finger tan head that disappears completely.

Smell: The smell of this beer is nothing short of amazing. Initially there is a mildly sweet roast with hints of cocoa. There is also a smokey characteristic that brings everything together very nicely.

Taste: There is a lot of smoke and roast throughout each sip. In the background there is a dark chocolate note, and there isn't much sweetness at all. The finish still contains the roast, and there is also a little bit of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: On the thicker side of medium body. The carbonation is quite mild and the finish is dry.

Drinkability: I really like this stout. The smoke flavor is really doing it for me. Overall I would say it is smooth and quite well balanced. (844 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

With all the talk about this one, I've been excited to try it, and now I finally get to.

A: Poured into my special SN 30th balloon glass. Opens with a nice lout thwop. Dark rich creamy and super thick 1.5 finger head fades very slowly and leaves a thick lacing on the glass. The beer is pitch black with no light escaping, as it should be.

N: Nose is nice and luscious. It starts with a lot of dark malts. A nice roasted malt with some coffee, black patent malt, some dark chocolate, earthy bitter stout, cocoa, maybe even chocolate milk, more dark sweet malts, and just a hint of booze. With that is also a slight sweet syrupy aroma with caramel and brown sugar. At the end is a slight spicy and earthy hop character.

T: Thick and luscious to start. A little boozy but not too much. Lots of heavy malts, lots of spicy roast character. A little coffee, scortched bitter earthy charred malt flavors. Black patent malt, not much for chocolate anymore. Some bitter hops with an earthy and spicy character as well. Somewhat chewy malts and slight creamy with the luscious taste. Slightly sweet with more sugary substances, caramel, slight molasses. A heavy earthy bitter hop character really builds as well. I can pretty much taste the pure darkness. THere is also a little soy sauce and saltiness that gets a little unpleasant.

M: Pretty thick and luscious, slightly syrupy, and quite a bit of carbonation especially for the style and feel.

F: A strong bitterness really comes out on the finish as it builds. It's earthy and spicy, almost like chewy on a raw hop pellet. Slightly sweet as well with a little sticky sweetness. That lingering bitter charred malt flavor and scorched coffee bean bitterness really lingers. The salty soy sauce also lingers.

Overall a very slow sipping RIS that I would recommend sharing. It'll be hard to get through this whole 750 by myself. It has some nice dark flavors, lusciousness, and pretty bitter, but also very thick, and too much of that salty soy sauce. I would really like to see how it does with some age on it. (2,060 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle shared with tb69, taken from notes -thanks Tim!
750ml into a tulip

A pitch black liquid with no light passing through except for some medium brown at the base of the glass. There is a cap of ecru that measures about 2 inches with rocky topography that looks like you could float wood on it. The head settles out to 1/4 inch w/ large bead after vigorous pour, lace sticks like silly string.
Woody notes in the scent w/ toasted malt and very cocoa influenced aromas w/ mellow coffee and hints of vanilla bean and brown sugar w/ mild pepper tinged and earthy hop aromas. The roasted malt plays a dominant role w/ mild malted milk odor. The dry toastiness adds a mild smoke odor to the full nose.

A feel w/ rich and roasted texture, subtle spice and intensely burnt astringent edge w/ mild caramel sweetness for good measure. There is a hint of light pepper w/ very mild carbonation and moderately full body w/ mellow bitterness, more hop spice than anything. The finish is semi-dry w/ residual sweetness evident and gentle alcohol warming on the palate. The flavor is like a rich brownie w/ dark chocolate flavor which is accented by muscovado and light vanilla w/ dark roast coffee combined with deep roastiness from the black malt giving a nice bitter flavor that goes along with the hops which seem slightly peppery and there is a sweet creamy milk chocolate tinge in the middle w/ subtle taste of alcohol following w/ a graham cracker presence and espresso note. The malt seems full and smooth w/ nutty flavor and light roasted effect w/ mild dark fruit component in the finish with perhaps a touch of tobacco in the taste.

A quality Imperial Stout, not the ultimate example IMO, but a seriously good one and top notch beer from pioneers of the craft beer industry. This met and exceeded my expectations -Kudos! to Sierra Nevada on the 30 years of quality beer-hope they continue with excellent beer like this for many years to come.

Edit -
Had this again courtesy of IdesofMarch89 at my Birthday tasting
Appearance and smell are both the same in my opinion but I think the flavor has improved slightly with a nice blend of piney hops and chocolate malt quality. I consider it a classic and would recommend opening it now since it is probably at it's peak at 1 year, I would hate to lose any of the nice hop flavor and to me it is just right now -7/1/11 (2,370 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes

Opens with a resounding pop! Pours jet black with 3 fingers of brownish, mocha head that just screams ice cream float. Tons of sticky lacing & very good head retention

S: Roasty malt, rich, dark & fruitty with woody hops, & booze once warm

T: Roasty malt, dark choclate, herbal hops along with molasses, leafy & minty hops up front. Baker's choclate, dryness, expresso, as this warms along with licorice, figs & boozeyness. Finishes dry with carob, & dark fruittyness

MF: Semi-chewy, low but noticable carbonation, nice creamyness once warm

Drinks great for the ABV & Strength, great effort, already bought a bottle & will pick up more if feasible. Happy anny SN! (686 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (653 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just got my Sierra 30th chalice in the mail last week and I happened to stumble upon another bottle of the Fritz and Ken's Ale. This beer pours beautifully a pitch black dense body with a nice full mocha tan head rising above the rim of my glass. The head has a cream texture and coats the chalice even with strong bands of lacing.

Aroma has dark chocolate/mild coffee accents from the dark roasted malts a very herbal/slightly pine ridden hop profile kicking in the back ground. Again the beer has a nice creamy slightly warming alcohol presence that just suits this style of bold and big beers. A molasses and peppermint thing hits my senses the more I sniff on this black beauty.

Flavor it's on multiple levels of complexity the sweet molasses notes give it a round malty honey drizzled on dark toasted wheat bread effect. Those same deep roasts bring out dark dry chocolate and deep bitter coffee edges as well with a touch of anise or black licorice notes. The hops again are very herbal and slightly piney not overbearing but oh so evident, again the alcohol slides across the palate toward the back of the throat warming me up just a bit. Those hop burps make the level of hop action going on more apparent than the first few initial sips, it makes you breathe a nice dark roasted ale with hops infused throughout and enough backing alcohol to make things cohesive and interesting.

The body is fuller yet remains silky smooth with creamy textures throughout even when dry/bitter moments occurs it doesn't loose that presence on the palate. Slight alcohol burn doesn't overpower the palate because there's enough flavor and other complexities going on to not distract you. Carbonation level is definitely sturdy the cork gave an excellent pop for me and definitely will be used as a celebratory brew the next time I come across one, and as a side note this one will be hitting the cellar if I grab another bottle.

Drinkability is surprisingly excellent, most darker brews are limited to a chalice this one really begs you to have another pour just to try to figure it out. Well made and definitely the way to start out a series of ales and lagers meant to celebrate some of the pioneers in the craft brewing industry. (2,233 characters)

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30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 658 ratings.