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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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 934 | Reviews: 654 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beagle75


4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color with one finger of dense and persistent beige foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Dark roast is moderate in intensity, complemented by a fine thread of smoke. Carbon dioxide is detectable, with lesser fruit, but no alcohol presence.

T: Begins off-dry, with roasted malt that is bready and affected by baking spices, especially cinnamon. A combination of volatile mint and heavy earth follows, suppressing acidity. Flavors become more dry into the middle where spirituous fruit is dark and slightly tannic. The finish is husky and very dry--robust--with dark malt in balance with bitter char and unctuous cocoa.

M: Thick viscosity, chewy and smooth on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: Nearing its second birthday, this beer remains a remarkable strong stout. While the malt profile may have deepened with time, the lively hops that were so notable early on are still detectable. After having sampled the barrel-aged version at FoBAB, this beer adds weight to the argument that sometimes it is better to leave well-enough alone. Fritz and Ken's Pioneer Stout will be missed when it is gone.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 14:28:22 | More by beagle75
Photo of KAP1356


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

Reviewed from notes. 750 ml cork and caged bottle from the first release of this. Purchased and split at Smokin' Joe's in Pittsburgh. Poured the SJ glass...

A - Pours a rich, dark brown color. Almost opaque. A nice, creamy, frothy, tan head forms about 1 finger thick. The head slowly recedes to a cap of the same color.

S - VERY strong aroma of heavily roasted malts. Bittwesweet chocolate, brown sugar and some hops come out as well. There's a slight char present as well that I kind of like with the other aromas. Smells rich.

T - Sweet at first from the chocolate and toffee like qualities, but the huge roasted malt component takes over the flavor profile. Slight coffee flavor comes as well as does the slight char I noticed in the nose.

M - Medium bodied beer that borders on being heavy bodied. Moderate carbination provides a creamy texture.

O - I enjoyed this one. I'm glad I split it though. There was a LOT of malt in this one and at times it became a bit too much, but was still quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 21:03:24 | More by KAP1356
Photo of bashiba


4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep dark black with some nice ruby highlights and a very thick and sticky dark tan head. Looks perfect!

The smell is very nice dark roasted barley and deep smokeyness with some nice bitter chocolate.

The flavor is very good, nice depth of black malts here with notes of chocolate, smoke, molasses, anise, juniper, and even a touch of dark fruit. Just enough hops to keep the malt in check with some nice earthy bitterness. Very complex and tasty.

The mouthfeel is warm and thick, very chewy and a touch oily.

Great Stout, they should make this every year!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 18:32:58 | More by bashiba
Photo of mondegreen


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

Bottle into a Sierra Nevada XXX goblet.

Cork releases with a huge pop. Pours a deep black with a huge frothy head.

Nose is well balanced. Sweet roasted malts and a touch of fruit.

A moderate sweetness is met by dark bakers chocolate. Layers of dark fruit in the aftertaste.

Mouth is silky. Really nice.

Overall, my favorite of the XXX line. I'm glad I held into this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 20:59:00 | More by mondegreen
Photo of harrymel


4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled early 2010

A: beautiful dark brown ale with two fingers dark mocha foam which slowly dissipated to a sheet of the same and cobweb lace.
S: sweet dark, molasses and raisin. Nice hint of cocoa, and toasted brittle.
T: dry and almost bitter with soily overtones and some dry cocoa.
M: heavy with moderate carb and long finish.
O: great stuff. Wish I had more.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 06:18:07 | More by harrymel
Photo of bschinelli


4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this in the cellar for quite sometime. Wow, worth the wait. First, served at 55degs, pours dark black with a thick, off white head. The head sticks around awhile. Smells of chocolate, roasting coffee pervade the aroma, and it tastes like it smells. Really good malt signature, while the hops balance any sweetness. Alcohol is present, but not omnipresent. Finishes with that roast flavor in the back of the throat.

Overall, a fantastic imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 20:14:03 | More by bschinelli
Photo of arizcards


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

Picked up a 750ml bottle from Total Wine in late April 2010 for $8.99. Been sitting on this in my wine cooler the last year and a half- can't wait!

Beer poured black as night with a nice mocha head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose was initially very strong of roasted malts.

Taste is very well balanced, dark cocoa, roasted malts, and a chockful of northwest hops to balance out the malt madness.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very smooth and satisfying.

Overall this beer has aged extremely well, one of the better Impy Stouts i have tried!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 02:27:56 | More by arizcards
Photo of ms11781


3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. The cap blew off and hit the ceiling and wall with the slighest touch. Not sure of an exact bottling date on this. Cellared since release (March 2010?), so it has about 18 months on it.

Pours a solid black with a nice dark brown head of foam. The head retention is excellent. It starts at about a finger and recedes just a bit. It sticks to the sides of the glass with each sip.

Some dark and bitter chocolate notes are the first aromas that come from the nose. A strong roasted character is present as well. A smoky or charred note is here as well. A sweet characteristic comes through towards the end but it's very subtle.

All the same components that were in the nose are in the taste as well but some are stronger and others more subtle. There is a touch of sweetness up front, not huge, but it starts off sweet before a huge roasted malt character takes over. A hint of some dark chocolate is here as well before a surprisingly big bitterness takes over. The bitterness actually lingers on the tongue and dries it out.

Big mouthfeel but not huge. The body is full but the carbonation is a bit higher than expected. The higher carbonation prevents the beer from feeling as big as it could.
The finish is bitter and extremely dry for a stout.

This beer actually had a bit of alcohol in the nose and taste when I had it fresh but that seems to have mellowed considerably in the last year and a half. Though the alcohol mellowed it has revealed a hugely bitter characteristic that wasn't as prominent when fresh and at times it can be a bit too much. I'm not sure if this beer is past it's prime or would be better with a bit more time on it.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 01:21:26 | More by ms11781
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

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

750ml caged and corked bottle poured into a Sam Adams Laser Etched Glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice deep mahogany with a 2 finger dark khaki crown that displays good retention and lace. Beer is a bit cloudy and murky.

Smell: Hops on this bottle are a bit faded and the malt is fairly pronounced but the two still intertwine nicely. Chocolate and toffee notes with a hint of roast behind them on the malt end. Hops are fairly floral.

Taste: Same as the nose. Very nice interplay of those elements. Do I detect a hint of peat perhaps?

Mouthfeel: Nice thick yet creamy mouthfeel with moderate to slightly low carbonation.

Overall: A very nice beer indeed. Goes down easy but has nuance.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 22:28:36 | More by koopa
Photo of mikereaser


3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a pitch black with a third of the glass filled with tan foam that just seemed to rest on top and had no plans of going anywhere.
S - Aroma is mainly bitter chocolate and a hint of brown sugar along with just a hint of hops.
T - nice roasted malt flavor along with a good amount of chocolate and a hint of bitterness in the finish
M - smooth and creamy with a good amount of carbonation, appropriate for the style. Medium bodied.
D - Very drinkable, its very smooth and nicely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 05:26:56 | More by mikereaser
Photo of projectflam86


4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a deep brown almost black color with a very impressive three finger head that leaves great lacing.

S- Bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar in the nose. A slight hop presence is noticeable along with a touch of yeast spices. Some roast as well.

T- Wood and smoke on the palate initially with a very smooth chocolate finish. The alcohol is there but not bothersome. Roasted and charred malt comes through as it warms.

M- Full bodied with fairly high carbonation considering the style.

O- Overall a very tasty stout. If I had to nitpick I would say to dial back the charred wood flavor a touch and expand on the sweet chocolate malt. Even still, very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 22:30:12 | More by projectflam86
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle reviewed from notes. Had as the 5th installment of "A Beer Observed" with my boy, CP, back in July.

Pours an unsurprising deep black with a thin mocha head resting comfortably on top. The nose carries notes of charred wood, chocolate malts, and booze. The mouth is creamy and full. Very smooth finish. Deep alcohol flavors, with some wine-like character to it. Semi-bitter chocolate budges its way in. This is a slow-sipper, even after almost a year in the cellar. I liked the feel, but still could have used a little more to it. Rich beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 20:41:17 | More by Onenote81
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

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

Poured into a tulip glass. Poured a nice dark coffee colored with a light brown bubbly head. Head went from 3 to 1 fingers pretty fast, but then lingered at that level. Little bit of lacing and cling, but nothing serious. Aroma was a mocha blend of coffee and chocolate, with a bit of brown sugar oatmeal. Flavor started as a creamy lactose, then shifted to a bit of milk chocolate, and then finished with a bit of bitter coffee. Felt great in the mouth, rich and creamy, plenty of body. The only downside was a bit of bitter acid that lingered on the tongue. Overall a great stout. Not as robust as I think they should be, but not overly bitter either.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 23:37:38 | More by mountdew1
Photo of teetee523


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

C: Very dark, amber, small amount of head

A: Not very strong, some woody scent

T: Spicy and malty on the lips, dark wood flavors in mouth, noticeable alcoholic taste, slightly bitter finish.

M: Full bodied

O: Good beer, great balance of flavor and complex, roasted bite.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 03:36:33 | More by teetee523
Photo of curasowa

New York

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black color with 1 finger of brown head that just sits there like frosting on a cake.

Aroma: Sweet, dark chocolate over more a coffee and roasted malt aroma. There's some earthy/woody stuff going on in there too.

Taste: Thick and creamy with a lot of molasses-like sweetness, but definitely some hop presence in there helping to cut the sweetness. Something happens before the finish, and it gets a little nutty and something else that I can't quite place, almost like some tartness. The finish has a dark chocolate chalkiness that is lingering but very mild.

The Rest: Rich and complex, a great sipper on a rainy fall evening. Quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 22:32:45 | More by curasowa
Photo of tsauce2


3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 750 ml bottle in to a DFH snifter

A: SRM is dark brown/black. Head is tan, medium bubbles. Medium carbonation. medium/light lacing.

S: Medium roasted malts, hoppy notes, carmel undertone.

T: Roasted malts and carmel notes followed quickly by hops. Beer is still a little "hot", alcohol noticable.

M: Medium body. Alcohol content and hoppiness serve as a point of contrast to the slight roasted bitterness of the malt. Creamy mf from carbonation and malt.

O: A good beer now, should be excellent with some age. Never had a beer from SN that I did not like.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 13:09:15 | More by tsauce2
Photo of JayS2629


4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown but is almost black in the glass. Creamy tan head, great retention, and walls of lace.

The aroma is of coffee, roasted malt, burnt caramel, and dark chocolate with earthy elements.

The taste follows with coffee, caramel, vanilla, dark cocoa, and earthy hops. Hints of spice and licorice with a touch of booze. Very well balanced and rich.

Rich, creamy, warming, and smooth

Awesome beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 18:13:51 | More by JayS2629
Photo of Mississipping


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

Bottle has been sitting in the back of the fridge for the past year and a half as it has been turned down by several friends I tried to share it with.  Going in on this one alone.  The cork unexpectedly rocketed toward the ceiling as if it was a bottle of champagne.

A: Pours dark brown but settles completely black with a moderate dark khaki colored head that dissipates fairly slowly to leave behind a patchy film and thin ring.  Very little lacing is left behind. 

S: Aroma is somewhat toned down.  Roasted barley, bitter dark chocolate, hints of dark fruit, and just a touch of coffee and anise.  There seems to be a good bit of booze, too, which isn't completely unpleasant, but hopefully isn't as pronounced in the taste.  There's a decent amount going on here, it's just pretty typical and not very aromatic. 

T: Starts out with dark chocolate and roasted malt along with a bit of coffee.  Rolling it around on the tongue, it's pretty mild, but once you swallow, the roasted (burnt) malt is completely amped up and it results in a slight bacon flavor.  Hops show up at the finish, too, along with a little more coffee ... but it tastes like spent coffee grounds.  Pretty bitter and slightly drying finish.  Fortunately, the booze that was detected in the aroma isn't in the taste.  There's just a hint of it in the thread after you swallow.

M: Really pretty thin ... medium bodied, but disappointingly so.  Good amount of carbonation that makes it slightly tingly/prickly on the tongue.  Drying on the tongue at the finish.  Just a tiny bit of warmth in the throat.

D: Overall, this is a pretty solid effort from a mediocre brewery, but it's not something I'd go back to.  Unbalanced and pretty damn bitter with not much complexity.  I didn't have particularly high hopes, so I'm not disappointed, but would have like there to be a little more to this, considering a collaboration by influential SN brewers.  

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 01:07:20 | More by Mississipping
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 emmasdad


4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Dano. Poured from the bottle a dark reddish brown/nearly black color with a good brown head. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. On the palate, this one is medium bodied and rich, with flavors of roasted malt, dark chocolate and cocoa.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 03:31:14 | More by emmasdad
Photo of Jeffo


4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottles of this courtesy of DLucky and akbeerfiend. Thanks a lot for the great trades gents!

From a 750ml into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a three finger, medium looking, fluffy, crackly, deep tan head with good retention. Jet black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a thick foam cap. A ring and splotchy wisp remain until the end leaving dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking stuff.

SMELL: A big nose right off the pour. Roasted malts, smoky malts, cocoa powder and espresso notes. Lots of cocoa and smoky, roasted goodness. Bold and quite nice.

TASTE: Roasted or even burnt malts with sweet caramel through the middle. Cocoa powder, bitter chocolate and espresso on the finish with a bitter, roasted and charred malt aftertaste. Bold flavors of bitter chocolate, espresso and burnt, smoky malts linger on the palate. Pretty flavorful and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a burn at the swallow and finishes somewhat mouth-coating on the palate. A bit too much head at the swallow, but fuller body works well.

OVERALL: First had this one at my place beside a few other big stouts, such as Big Black Voodoo Daddy, Bitches Brew, and Dark Lord 2010, and this one came out on top for me. Quality stuff. A good look on this one, a bold nose, and lots of nice, bold and enjoyable stout flavors. The heat could be a little more reserved after the swallow, but that’s a minor point. This one actually outplays many of the limited release, low bottle count brews out there. A wonderful brew that I’d love to have again. Thanks again gents for throwing this one in the box. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 19:27:43 | More by Jeffo
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 KTCamm

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada champagne bottle, poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours dark black - thick brown foam, long retention and heavy lacing. Thick bubbles.

Roasted malt smell, dark coffee as well.

Rich hearty taste, deep pine hop, slow alcohol burn. Oily hop taste. Heavy bittering. Subtle medicinal background.

Real thick, hearty and chewy. Not finished without some effort.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 13:39:13 | More by KTCamm
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 03:52:38 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of ColdPoncho


4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of cellar reduction. I am dreading this cork.

A - Pours a deep brown/red/black, with a big billowing brown head. A good looking pour, big time. Exquisite head retention

S - chocolate, dark fruit, smoked meats, rawhide. Really nice! This is not too far off how I remember it fresh. The hops have backed off, and the sweeter notes have come forward.

T - Chocolate is the big thing here, but theres a decent amount of smoked meat and just general smoke. Smoke is a tricky thing, but it's really nicely balanced here. Hints of dark fruit throughout. A nice and complex, and really tasty beer.

M - Incredibly smooth, a little thin, and just a touch drying. If it were thicker, it'd be perfect.

O - I really liked this beer fresh, and I really like it with year and a half or whatever it is on it. I think this is a stellar stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 02:07:45 | More by ColdPoncho
30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 934 ratings.