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

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

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976 Ratings

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Ratings: 976
Reviews: 659
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 63
Gots: 177 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 976 | Reviews: 659
Photo of DIM
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Bull's Head in Lititz.

a: Black body, serevd in a Sierra Nevada glass with a thick, lightly frothy tan colored head.

s: Tons of almost charred roast that suggested dark chocolate. I found some leafy hops and, very faintly, some dark fruit.

t: Incredibly dry throughout and quite bitter. Charred, roasty malts and the still fresh, leafy hops made this a stout to be sipped. I got some chocolate, espresso, and cherry; but these were very much in the backround.

m: Thick bodied, with long lasting creamy carbonation.

d: I really enjoyed this fresh. I might have to buy a bottle to age. This wasn't quite harsh, but the heavy roast made me take it slow.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Brewforia for ~$11... shared a few weeks back with inflatablechair... reviewed from good paper notes while trying to enjoy a less than stellar Big Worse.

Black brew is completely opaque until held to a light and a bit of deep brown shows near the stem of the goblet... Dark brown head.. okay retention and lacing.

Nose is simple yet very forthright in everything expected from a West Coast Impy Stout.... very roasty... some dark fruits that make me think of Bing Cherries... and a blast of dry cocoa.

Flavor is surprisingly dry throughout.. roasty dark malts... some cocoa combines with espresso... more char than I normally like, but I appreciate in this setting.... very dry on the finish.

Expected medium body with an abundant carbonation that seems on the high side for me.

This is a NOT surprising very pleasing and super well made brew.... I am very impressed across the board and even more stoked that it comes with a reasonable price tag.


Writing this review makes me want to dump the trash in my glass and grab my bottle from the cellar (man I need to get more of these while I can!!!! I hate being poor.)

Photo of david131
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A very deep, dark brown... might as well be black. The brown head is monstrously thick and creamy looking. Absolutely fantastic.

S- Dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and smoke. It has been awhile since I have smelled a beer this intriguing. Right up my alley.

T- Very roasty and smoky with some sweetness at the end to keep things from getting out of control. The alcohol is slightly apparent as well.

M- Smooth and creamy. A nice balance of heavy body and lightness from the carbonation.

D- Drinks amazingly well for how young this is. I really dug this beer and I bet that it will age well for at least a couple of years.

Photo of oelergud
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pure black body with a creamy brown head with retention and lace that just wont quit.
Deeply roasted bittersweet chocolate notes of an earthly vanilla character.
Chocolate flavors all over the palate. Vanilla, overripe dark prunes. Plenty of sweet hoppy goodness with a pine kick.
Thick body with lots of residual sugars. Good coating and a dry gritty finish.
Excellent drinkability.


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

Appearance: Pours a thick black with a huge light brown head that has good retention. Leaves little lace.

Smell: Burnt chocolate and coffee dominate, and earthy hops balance it out. Sweet malts are apparent. The alcohol is surprisingly noticeable on this one too.

Taste: Heavy on coffee and chocolate, but the bittering hops are even more apparent than in the nose. Overall sweet but not overly so, maybe because of the burnt flavor as well. Alcohol is detectable but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with low-mid carbonation, all of which feel perfect for the style.

Drinkability: Good drinkability despite it being so thick and despite the alcohol finish.

Overall a very enjoyable drink. I predict and hope that it will become more complex with age. Looking forward to that.

Photo of Beaver13
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a dark black brown with a huge foamy light brown cascading nitro-looking head that retains well and laces the glass. I poured this one a little too hard. :)

The aroma is sweet chocolate malts with some oatmeal and a touch of anise.

The flavor is sweet lactic chocolate and a little dark fruit with a roasted and anise finish with decent bitterness with noticeable alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation but is slightly watery.

Overall, a nice imperial stout. Fun to try once, but not worth $15.

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

Lightproof black colored beer with a very strong head formation, careful or you will overflow your glass. Good brown head, but the carbonation level is a slight fault that will tone down after a few years of aging.

Smells strongly of coffee and chocolate with some caramel scent. Bread and chocolate cake -make up the rest of the scent.

Starts out with heavy patent malt flavor there is some sweetness but this is mostly char. Mostly this is coffee in flavor with chocolate being a small contributor to the flavor.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is a little less than it could be because of the rather basic flavor profile. Pretty much this is all patent malt, good but more complexity would be nice.

Photo of ebin6
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Thick, well layered head which was maintained throughout. Extremely dark.

S - A lot of malt, but not overpowering. Also detected a decent amount of smokiness

T - Chocolaty, coffee taste with the smokey aftertaste; one of the better stouts I've had.

M - Very smooth; a lingering malty aftertaste in the back of the throat for a long time

D - If I hadn't been driving I would have had the better part of the 750ml bottle

Absolutely great stout, especially for the price ($9.99). I'm really looking forward to the other 30th anniversary beers Sierra Nevada has in store this year.

Photo of Lazerlobe
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark chocolate with a small amount of light passing around the edge of the snifter. Three finger of a caramelized crème brulée head. It has a transitory nature, composed of small, medium and large diameters. Thin trails of lacing left along the side of the snifter.

S: Big roasted malts with traces of campfire, and medium roast coffee.

T: More roast malts up front with semi sweet and dark chocolate, with some espresso residue. Not overly sweet; it's actually quite dry with some leftover hop bitterness that persists. Definitely a generously hopped RIS. I am really content with what is coming through here. The alcohol is pretty muted but is present on the exhale.

M: This is a thick creamy beer, syrupy but not too sweet. Very lightly carbonated. Leaves my lips sticky.

D: I mean, with these double imperial/RIS beers you know you aren't drinking more that one. I wish I had a partner to finish this one with but all of my friends are beer wusses. I am enjoying this immensely though. It reminds me of my morning espressos. The coffee and chocolate don't remain on the palate as long as the hops do, which is too bad.

I just started cellaring beers and have one waiting for another great evening. I assume the hops will fade out a bit and the alcohol may cool off a bit but maybe that is just the alcohol talking.

Photo of boatshoes
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this bottle held for me down at From the Vine in Columbus, thanks Jaimie!

Appearance- Pours pitch black out of the bottle with quite an active head for an imperial stout. Almost three fingers of medium brown head rises up in my snifter before relatively slowly dying back to a healthy coating across the top of the beer. Small amount of lacing left as I drink.

Smell- Smells rich and hearty. Lots of dark burnt malt, char, and burnt coffee coming off this one. A little bit of a sharp whiff of alcohol detectable in the nose as well. Smells big.

Taste- Lots of bold flavor. Starts off with a lot of burnt roast characteristics, with some burnt coffee bean and bitter chocolate as well. Surprising amount of detectable bitter hops as well mixed in. Finishes with a bite of alcohol.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is solid for the style, being pretty thick but with good levels of carbonation. Drinkability is a bit low because of the harshness of the finish on this one.

Overall, a solid stout with lots of big flavors. I didn't think however that it was the most well integrated stout that I've had and may benefit from a bit of aging to take the edge off of it. Would like to try to snag another for that purpose.

Photo of brownbeer
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very attractive brew. Black and opaque in the glass with a fluffy brown head that's more than happy to be here.

Smells old school to me, with earthy coffee roastiness, some woody hops, and a hint of smoke.

Burnt espresso on the tongue. Earth, wood, charcoal, pine, dark cocoa, and a certain mineral character as well. Smokey, or ashy, I guess would be more like it. It's dark and very dry with a bitterness that hangs on for a second in the finish. I really love how dry this is.

I will certainly be picking up a few more of these to age. Recommended.

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

On-tap at Samuel Horne's in Folsom.

A - Poured deep black with 3-fingers of mocha head. Dissipated slow and left nice lacing. Some carbonation is present.

S/T - Chocolate, medium roast coffee, herbal/flowery hops, and some bittering hops as well. The taste finishes with roast barley and smoke.

M - Malt dominated, full-bodied, and finishes slightly dry.

D - Great overall. No taste of alcohol. Would liked to have had more hop bitterness as this is an American style.

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

Pours a dark black with a nice smoky caramel head.
Smells of hops, like sierra pale ale, but with a kick from the malts.
Tastes chocolatey and bitter, not pale ale bitter like the smell would make one suspect but stout bitter. Yummm.
Creamy consistency and not much carbonation make this a great stout.

Another interesting collaboration.

Photo of chaz01
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample tasting at a local beer event served in a champagne flute.

A: Dark black with a thick creamy brown head.

S: Picked up some sweet bourbon-like tones in the aroma.

T: Lots of roasted malt coffee and some chocolate flavors

M: Creamy mouthful, full-bodied

D: Worthy to pick up a few bottles -- should age well. Very nice sipping beer -- what you would expect from an Imperial Stout.

Photo of Stunner97
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- thick black tan foamy head, very impressive head really dazzles you, very pitch black with no light what so ever coming through on this one, this is one big bad looking stout

Smell- slightly smokey, roasted malts appear, slight hop smell, hints of very dark chocolate on the nose, but very overall smokey almost burnt smell,

Taste- wow, very complex flavor profile on this, it continues to shift thru your first sip to the finish on your palate, starts out with a sharp bitter hoppiness and then becomes more of roasted malt flavor on the mid palate and finishes off with an extremely strong smoked flavor, very rich and complex flavor that goes on for a long time, slight dark chocolate can be noticed but overall some strong bitterness mixed nicely with some malts too, overall the finish goes on for an extreme amount of time, I would love to see what some age does to this beer but the flavor is already really impressive

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with a bit of carbonation, decently creamy and smooth

Drinkability- I really enjoyed drinking this beer, its an amazing sipper and one that the flavor lingers with you long after each sip, but its just so nicely balanced that it makes you crave your next sip, this is one I highly recommend stocking up and seeing what some age can do for it, but also this is a very special one time beer that is certainly worth grabbing if you can, rich complex and worthy of the beautiful packaging and the names the bottle bares, great beer

Photo of Halcyondays
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25 oz. bottle,

A: Pours black with a frothy tan head, gobs of lace, great retention.

S: Sweet roast, chocolate, light molasses.

T: Dark chocolate is the main flavour for sure. Some residual sugar with a light smoky, meaty, gamey flavour which added another layer of complexity. Quite hoppy as well, with notes of pine and wood.

M: Smooth and creamy, frothy as with the head. Full-bodied.

D: This is tasting great, but I can see that some aging could benefit this and make it more malt forward. A damn fine effort.

Photo of gfreed
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Zowie: what a beer. Beautiful black color with a balsa-wood-like head that provided light resistance. Loads-- and I mean loads-- of smoke in the aroma and the distinct smells of chocolate and ham. Not just any ham, but a well-salted, smoked ham. Some bitterness in the nose as well,. Smoky taste akin to that found in a rauchbier, but the ham... the ham... I've never had such a wonderfully hammy, smoky beer. Although it's a different style, it's on the same level as beer from Schlenkerla. Some powdered cocoa in the taste, finishing rather dryly with just a light bite from the hops. But to hell with all that: this is ham in a glass. Exceptional, and worth keeping one or two in the basement for later. This is not just an A-plus beer: it is in fact the rare A-fucking-plus beer.

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

750ml bottle, goblet, and I don't see any dating surprisingly.

This could be the standard for Imperial Stout visual excellence. An opaque molasses black body with a coffee foam head of two inches initially, falling to a quarter inch. Great retention and promising, nay excellent globular lace.

Not the most intense nose, but strong notes of espresso, spicy hops, very dark chocolate, and dark or chocolate caramel candies. To me it smells distinctly like oats were used in the recipe. I just smelled some saltiness as well; possibly as if this liquid bread were buttered with salted butter. Graham crackers.

Espresso and chocolate with spicy, black pepper and leafy hops. Dark rum molasses flavors are hinted at when the alcohol becomes modestly apparent as a result of warming.

Mouthfeel is exceedingly creamy and almost perfect in my opinion.

For a beer this size 4 is the maximum drinkability score I feel I can give. This is a big solid stout with a great mouthfeel that isn't worth the $10 a bottle to be entirely honest. Good but I hope the rest of the 30th Anniversary releases are extraordinary.

Photo of jjanega08
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= Huge pop of the cork with loads of gunsmoke coming out. The pour is jet black with a nice two finger head on it. The head is a nice mocha color with tiny bubbles holding some of the best retention and lacing I've ever seen in an Impy Stout.

S= The smell isn't the most impressive I've ever come across for an Impy stout. I get some nice sweet maltyness but nothing like I expect from a stout. The roast in minimal as well as the darker coffee chocolate smells. Sort of a nice brown ale smell.

T= The roast flavors come through a lot more in the taste. One of the roastiest Impy stouts I've had. Really interesting. Most Impy stouts I get these days lack roast and have more malty sweetness to them but this is a ton of nice roast and coffee tastes. Impressive indeed. There is a little hop bitterness to it.

M= A little on the lighter side. There is a nice coating feel to it.

D= Pretty nice and impressive for the style and the fact that it's a collab from two of the biggest pioneers in brewing is awesome. Happy I got to try this one. Could drink a lot of this is I was looking for a roasty stout.

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

This beer pours very dark practically black with a thick dark tan head.
It has a chocolately bitter roasted grain smell.
It has a very malty sweetness with a chocolate/coffee bitterness of roasted grains and a good balance with hops.
The mouthfeel is pretty smooth.
Not the most drinkable of beers but most stouts are not intended to be. I think a little age will do this beer a lot of good in that department though.

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

Wow, this is a serious stout and not for the weak at heart. The beer pours a very nice, full, creamy tan head with lots of retention and lots of lacing. The nose is sweet malts, cherry chocolate, dark crystal malts, maybe at touch of spice and ABV.

This stout is literally beefsteak in a glass. This beer is so thick, chewy, carnivorous, dark, roasted, and charred malty that it really is in a class by itself. The ABV is well hidden. The beer is extremely salty, with lots of spice, a goodly portion of leafy hop, and plenty of warming ABV to make this a very special stout. It is very unique, very strong, tasty, creamy and smooth, with none of the defects so commonly present in an Imperial Stout. This is a one of a kind stout, very worth seeking out. The mouthfeel is leafy hop and the aftertaste is the beefsteak imparted throughout the midsection. L'Chaim.

Photo of Casey10
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fantastic beer from a great company.

Wow got finally got this today was worried that it would not make it to Maine.

It is really worth seaking out it is a fantastic stout.

This is creamy, great smell great taste. I am sure this will age well. It's not the best stout ever but as stouts go this is a must have !!!

I would recommend to anyone.

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

On-tap at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse, served in a 10-oz mug for $7.50. Wow, this tastes like burnt, roasted blackness. Wait that doesn't make sense. How about this brew has the most roasted grain flavor of any beer in memory. Otherwise it's a rich, chocolatey RIS with molasses and espresso. The 10-oz serving was just enough and I wouldn't mind having a second. It's not too thick, it's full-flavored, and it's a little different (more roast). This one's a winner/

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the HorseBrass last night

The beer pours a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and considerable lacing all around. On the nose, I get a significant amount of licorise, coffee and roasty sweet malt, along with some light dark chocolate. Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely, but I'm impressed by the amount of flavor and richness this beer delivers. The beer is fairly sweet, but the decent dose of hoppy bitterness counters the sweetness nicely, and gives the beer a bit of coffee grounds finish. Mouthfeel is not quite as full as I was expecting, but there is plenty of flavor and the beer has a long, drawn out finish. Drinkability is OK, though I detected a bit of heat from the alcohol in the finish, which along with the sweetness and licorise, detracts just a bit from this beer's drinkability (I mean, the abv. is over 9% after all).

Not exactly mind blowing, but nevertheless, this was a pretty solid beer I thought from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of Musition12
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought two bottles of this a couple weeks ago - one to drink, one to age. Finally got around to opening the one "to drink". Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown-black with ruby-brown edges. I was surprised by a slim, 1/2-finger head, but the lacing more than makes up for it with gobs of foam sticking all over the glass.

S: A very elegant, intricate nose. Bitter chocolate, tobacco, roast espresso, vanilla, and dark fruit with a slight hint of citrus.

T: Smoke and espresso up front. Other flavors that mirror the nose - chocolate, sweet vanilla, etc. Big, bittersweet malts. The finish is unexpectedly hoppy and dry: piney hops offer a little twang and depth for the luscious maltiness on display here. The hops never overwhelm or upstage the other flavors though, they just provide a nice unassuming foil to the smokey and bittersweet profile. It could benefit from some age, but as it is, I'm really enjoying the hop presence as it doesn't step all over the malts. I'm actually kind of speechless...there's just an extraordinary unity of flavor here.

M: Smooth, creamy texture...not syrupy, though. Good amount of carbonation that never becomes obtrusive. Some faint warmth from the alcohol. Top notch.

D: A definite sipper. Nonetheless, I think I want more. I need to stock up on this before it's gone.

This is just a refined, well-crafted imperial stout. It's not extreme or boundless in its flavors, but it doesn't aim to be. It finds a perfect balance between ambition and restraint. Sierra and Anchor, the grandfathers of craft beer, embody this balance and it shows in their brews. I could not think of a better way to celebrate 30 years of craft beer than with this marvel of an imperial stout. Bring on the Imperial Helles!

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30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 976 ratings.