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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969 Ratings

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Ratings: 969
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 61
Gots: 175 | 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:
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: 969 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of champ103
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nearly opaque black color. A large, pillowing, tan head rises to over two fingers with excellent retention. Sheets of sticky lace is left all the way done the glass.
S: A soft toasted malty aroma. Chocolate and coffee linger. Some smoke is in the nose as well. A light spicy and piny hop aroma lingers.
T: An incredibly smooth milk chocolate flavor. Toasted malt, coffee, sweet toffee. A very light hop flavor lingers. Excellent stuff.
M/D: A full body and low carbonation. Really creamy, smooth, and decadent. Hardly any alcohol to be found. So smooth and easy to drink. A great beer to sip on.

This is amazing. A fitting 30th anniversary, and collaboration beer. Something I highly recommend. Really well done.

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

Poured into an oversized red wine glass. I was surprised at the lack of smell. Good light brown head, tight bubbles, some but not allot of lacing.

Excellent taste, robust,choclatey, small amounts of coffee and licorice/anise. Some toasted malt. Slightly boozy at the end.

Mouthfeel was lighter than you might expect which adds to the drinkablity.

Very nice example of the style and nice colab.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off, I have to say that it is pretty cool to see these two brewers work together, as they are some of the originals in the craft beer movement. In general, all of these collaborations between brewers is a positive thing IMO. This stout pours out pitch black, with a slow to rise, creamy looking tan head. Nose is on the roasted side, with some dark bitter chocolate, earth, and smoke. Taste has all of the elements from the smell, with the roasted character taking the lead. This certainly ranks as one of the more bitter double stouts I have had, which is sort of what I expected, as I could not see these two coming out with something overly sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and full bodied. Drinkability is hindered a bit by the roasted character, which can get a bit tiresome. You can tell that a lot of care went in to this beer, but I am not overly impressed. Having said that, I am very interested to see what age does to this beer, so I will definitely be getting one or two more. Cheers

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

Had this last night. Review from notes. Poured into a standard pint glass.

First off, really impressed by the presentation of the bottle. Very classy looking bottle and artwork. Modest pour produces a three finger tan head that hangs around forever. There was still a full fingers worth of head after letting it sit for a few minutes. Color is black with a slight brown coffee tint. The cap of foam on this beer is a good few cm the entire way through, and my glass had a wall of lacing on it. Really amazing looking beer all around.

Scents of coffee, chocolate, roasted dark malts are up front. Herbal, flora and citrusy hops are in the background as well.

The taste mostly follows smell. Very chocolate-y up front followed by chared malts, roastiness, smoke and a bit coffee (not as much coffee taste as scent though). This gives way to earthy, herbal, floral and light citrus (orange/pineapple) hops. The taste is a bit sweet with a roasty and hoppy flavors to balance this out. Found the flavor very interesting.

Creamy mouthfeel. On the high end of medium bodied. Quite low carbonation. Pretty smooth. Some warmth on the way down.

Very drinkable, but one bottle is plenty. I was pretty impressed by this beer. Can't wait for the next installment of Sierra Nevada's 30th. I think this will greatly improve with ale. Reminds me of a fresh Big Foot stout style. Anyway, if you can, try one for yourself.

Photo of JerryBullfrog
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a chocolate milk-colored head that dissipates rather quickly but leaves a lot of lacing.

Aromas of roasted malt, coffee, and cocoa... but these are quite subdued. They get a bit more pronounced as the beer warms, but still rather muted.

Flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a slightly burnt flavor, but these are muted as well... no one flavor dominates. After swishing the beer in my mouth it feels like a chocolate meringue... very airy but thick.

Not really as heavy as some other Imperial Stouts, which improves the drinkability. It's definitely worth a try.

Photo of mpensworth
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours super dark, nice dark tan head that dissipated eventually.

S - Roasted, toasted, malty chocolate nose that gets more alcohol hints as it warms up.

T - Tastes like it smells, lots of roasted chocolate that finishes on a coffee note. I can definitely taste the SN malts in this beer. Nothing fantastic, a really well brewed stout.

M - Good carbonation for an imperial stout. Medium body when it's cold from the fridge, as it warms the body turns heavy and slightly syrupy.

D - The warmer it gets the heavier it gets. I drank the last glass over the course of about an hour to see how it warmed up. Those last few sips were good but thick.

Overall I did really like this stout. I'll probably buy one more and throw it in the cellar and let it age for a year or so.

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

750mL bottle into Duvel tulip

A - pours black with a really nice 2.5" mocha head. head reduced rather quickly, but left good lacing

S - a hint of leather, then a wash of smoked bacon(a first for me...)

T - toasted/roasted/burnt malts, oak and big (like after sitting by a camp fire all night) smoke flavor

M - tingles the tongue with medium carbonation, has a dry finish and hides the alcohol well

D - did not disappoint, drinks very well

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

Pours a motor oil black with some transparency around the garnett/brown edges. Big, voluminous tan head that sports some great retention. Only the slightest hint of spotty lacing.

Nose is pleasant, but didn't blow me away. Roasted malts and chocolatey. The taste makes more of an impression - roasted malts, chocolate, smoke and a dash of hops...and boozy. It's not intensely hot, but it's definitely there.

Mouthfeel is very good. Medium bodied and perfect carbonation. Personally, I tend to like a slightly fuller mouthfeel from my big stouts; but other than that, this thing is spot on.

Very drinkable. Despite having some slightly rough edges, it all comes together nicely.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color (like heavily used motor oil) with a frothy cola colored head that retains amazingly and leaves really nice lace...a stunner in the looks department. The aroma has some big roastiness upfront, along with chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, burnt bread, piney hops and some alcohol. The flavor starts out with some burnt roastiness, along with some dark fruits, chocolate, a little coffee, piney and citrusy hops, and only a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is full and rich, and drinkability is very good considering the ABV and style. A very solid imperial stout, it reminds me a lot of Smuttynose's version, nothing spectacular but nice nonetheless.

Photo of chefmikeanderson
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice black velvet with a mocha chocolate milk head. leaves real nice lacing and for some reason reminds me of a nitro beer. But real nice i must say

S: I dont get to much out of the smell. its very faint but all i get out of it is some charey hops. not very impressive. not sure where people get these off the wall flavors for this beer but oh well. to bad for me i guess

T: MMM the taste is i big capow compared to the smell. lots of charred malts and real nice balancing hops. Yes its not as big as one of the more well known big stouts for fruity or chocolatey characters but it tastes really well made and real nicely balanced

M: Just a hit of carbonation in the background with a slick velvety mouth feel.

D: Goes down super easy. Not super intense so I dont have to wait a minute in between sips. I could take out a bottle of this in 30 min or so.. if i felt like it that is. overall tastes really well made but nothing to crazy like. I'm gonna get a few more for the cellar and enjoy another one later

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

Big bang from the cork, and the pour almost overflows with carbonation, presentation much like a Belgian ale. Dark cocoa black and brown, the foam on this beer is killer. Serious retention. Extremely attractive.

Aroma and flavors are full of deep sweet chocolate, dusty malts (esp carmel and chocolate), rich dried fruits, and a mighty bitter roasted note that prectically overtakes the beer, sans the acidity and with plenty of sweetness to balance it out. Hops only provide an underlying bitterness but don't play a major role here. Some vanilla, some tabasco, some virgin oak, some mineral water. Very well done. Complex and enduring aftertaste. Approaches the complexity and sophistication of the Abyss. Heat? No. Alcohol? Just the slightest hint.

Just a hair too much carbonation for my taste but well within the acceptable realm. Mouthfeel is on the creamy side. This would be awesome on a nitro tap. Big, rich, and full-bodied.

Delicious! A bit much to call highly drinkable, but interesting and savory enough to keep you sipping for a long time. Cheers!

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad I got to try this beer and hope that I get to try the other three beers in the series as well.

The beer pours a black color with a huge tan head. The aroma is smoke and roasted malt. The flavor is chocolate, roasted malt and quite a bit of smoke, which was unexpected. Thick mouthfeel and low-medium carbonation.

Photo of Norfawkers
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Superb stout with unique flavor...it tastes like a camping trip.

Appearance: Very dark, black with thick tan head

Smell: Smokey with toasted malt

Taste: Piney, smokey, toasty...like a campfire

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick, lingering malty finish

Drinkability: Excellent sipping beer, full flavored, woody, stock up on it while you can

Photo of czechsaaz
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep chocolate aroma right off and then roast malt and just a hint of earthy hops. There's some bread yeast as it warms up with fruity fermentation esters.

Deep, deep black colored and completely opaque held up to the light. Pours with a solid 2 inch layer of tan head that settles to a half inch very thick head with small bubble "wholes" around it. There are several lines of fine bubbles rising around the glass keeping that head full.

Flavor is in a word, intense. Lots and lots of roast character, almost comes off as smokey. Lots and lots of chocolate. Solid hop bitterness but no hop flavor which is right on for a big stout. There's so much yeast and malt complexity that it's hard to pick much out. I get dark caramel and molasses and dark ripe fruits and grape nuts grain and a lot else. The aftertaste is a combo of base malt sweetness and coffee flavored roast malt.

Thick and big bodied. I don't get any hot alcohol which is impressive in this big a beer. It almost coats my mouth but there's the creamy carbonation level that clears it out after.

This is one impressive big sipper. Drinkable in the sense that you want to have one everyday or on a hot afternoon, no. Drinkable in the sense that I really love it? Hell Yeah!

Photo of chaz410
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yep, I got this bad boy on tap at the great Pizza Peel in Charlotte During the CHARLOTTE CRAFT BEER WEEK!!
Pours a deep black body with a firm khaki head
Smells thick of cocoa, mocha and roated barley
Taste of sweet caramel, thick chocolate, a little dry mocha and some nice roasted malts.
This is the perfect example of a double great stout, not a russian imperila, not a double, not an extreme stout, just a great double stout.
Very easy to drink for the abv

Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip.

The massive pop of the cork surprised me a bit, but it wasn't a gusher by any means. It did pour with a huge mocha head that shows exceptional retention and sheets of lacing on the sides. A great looking stout.

The aroma is all about the roasted black malts. There is a sweet licorice and espresso presence as well as a solid earthy and herbal hop aroma. Not extremely impressive.

The taste is a step up for me with all the aforementioned aspects of the nose, but they all seem to come together better. The initial taste is a a mixture of earthy hops up front with some semi-sweet chocolate. The heavily roasted malts aren't as dominant but still form a big backbone. The finish is sweet chocolate, citrus hops and toasted malt bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and extremely smooth with lots of carbonation and roasty in the finish.

This is an excellent beer from Sierra Nevada and on the better end of things as impy stouts go. It's got a solid hop bitterness on top of a big roasty backbone. Good.

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

Sunset Grill & Tap just put this on draft today, I spent a good 10 minutes discussing it with the bartender after ordering.

A - Poured in a tulip glass, jet black with a thick, foamy head of a dark-roasted coffee color. The head dissipated faster than other reviews indicate, but thick lacing remained to the end.

S - Not nearly as strong a smell as I would expect. Primarily a roasted coffee/malt aroma; some hints of chocolate, and faint earthy undertones. Hops and alcohol were also present, but almost entirely overshadowed.

T - Very darkly roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and malt. Hints of tobacco, pine (the hops), and a dark fruit I couldn't put my finger on. Flavors mesh well, but aging will definitely yield a better flavor profile.

M - Medium-heavy body, very chewy and coats the mouth well. The alcohol (and perhaps the malt too?) dried out my mouth quicker than I would have expected, and I think otherwise each sip would have lingered for a very long time.

D - Overall delicious, though perhaps a bit unbalanced for now. Took me a good 45 minutes to get through a 10oz pour. Definitely worth drinking on tap, though I'd recommend finding a bottle or two and aging for a while.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Giving this a higher rating boost here because I love the big corked bottle. Classy, classic looking label. Looks expensive.

The beer forms a large wet sand colored head that has good retention and lacing.

S- Really roasty with hops noticeable on the nose. Herbs and spices, jerky, char, and grassy hops.

T- More of the same from the nose. Spicy, and pretty bitter. Grassy hop finish. Dry cocoa powder and roasted coffee. I think this really should be aged. It seems a little bit rough around the edges. I would like some of the bitterness and hoppyness fade and give way to the cocoa and coffee.

M- Medium carbonation, The body is a little bit thinner than I had hoped.

D- I want to see this with some age. I think it would calm down and fall into place.

Photo of Fnord
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pitch black, with a thin but persistent tan head.

Smell - A lot of alcohol, chocolate malt, oak, cherry, and raisin.

Taste - At first you're hit by the big alcoholic punch, then the cherry comes out to dance on your decimated taste buds. Molasses, chocolate, and roastiness are also clearly evident. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter, perhaps to provide balance to the next sip.

Mouthfeel - Thick, medium carbonation.

Notes - This is a good imperial stout. The prominent cherry makes it interesting and different. Unfortunately, the cherry combines with the bitter aftertaste and alcohol to give a cough-syrup-like vibe. I bet if it were aged for a year or two, to mellow the heat a little, it would be excellent.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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

Very pretty caged and corked bottle poured into snifters.

A = Impenetrable mahogany bordering on obsidian, with a huge mocha brown frthy, thick head that exhibits extremely good retention as it slowly breaks into large bubbles and foam settling into a mere cover of foam on the surface and good lacing on the glass.

S = Freshly ground deep roasted coffee beans, light hints of pine needles, vanilla.

T = Treacle, espresso, grapefruit rind, toffee, fudge, pipe tobacco. Very complex and tastes meld together very well. Still it is just a bit on the wild side at the moment, so I would think a little time in the cellar would improve it even more.

M = Thick, heavy body, creamy, luscious feel and great mouthcoating. At the moment there is a hint of the alcohol but at a level that is not unpleasant and should fade with proper cellaring.

D = A sipper but a very good sipper. Easily one of the best imperial stouts I've had. I am going to pick up some more of this since I think it should age out very nice.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours inky black, espresso head is about two inches tall initially and actually grows until the crown is out of the glass. This magnificent crown retains for several minutes before the nose is even apparent, and another few before a proper first sip may be had. Even at the end of the glass, a substantial ring of foam remains.

The nose is chocolatey, with a bit of coffee added to the bitterness, a touch of alcohol, and a smidgen of dark fruit and herbs. Not bad.

The flavor is right back up into 'great' territory. This one has all the right marks for the Imperial stout: dark fruit, like raisin and fig; bittersweet chocolate and roasted black coffee; anise and herbal pine. The body is creamy and smooth - that head was bolstered by a really high level of carbonation. This is a double-edged sword, as 30th Anniversary never descends into kick-your-ass-stout-to-hurt-someone-for, but then again it is one of the most drinkable of the style I've ever had.

Bottom line: get it if you see it. I'm not sure what I paid, but it was worth it. Very high quality.

Photo of bum732
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black, nice tan creamy head with amazing lacing. Smells of roasted coffee, lots of citrus notes, cocoa, raw earthiness, hint of smoke, . Tastes of chocolate and coffee like malt with a lemony citrus supporting. Big bold chocolate flavors yield to coffee roastiness and finally charred dryness. Nice full creamy mouthfeel, carbonation fairly low, alcohol really well hidden.

A really nice beer, has lots of potential. Big bold chocolate and coffee flavors and a nice hop profile as well. Would love to see how this ages, the burnt roastiness is a little much, probably would fade nicely with time. Fantastic!

Photo of rossthefireman
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- dark and black as a stout should be with an awesome creamy head.

S- notes of hops and coffee and roasted malt. A slight note of alcohol

T- fantastic! lots of roasted malt flavor with coffee, dark chocolate and cream flavor. A good hop presence but in perfect balance with the beer.

M- perfect. Not light, not heavy but just perfect. Perfect carbonation with a creamy feel .

D- very drinkable now and later!

This beer is a home run and Im glad I bought six bottles of the stuff!. This is how an imperial stout should be, big bold flavors but in perfect balance. This beer is going to age beautifully and I cant wait to try on in five years!
Alas, I would expect nothing less from two of the pioneers of the craft beer industry. Its amazing that they can up the ante on Imperial Stouts after 30 years of making beer. Ken and Fritz, thank you for making an epic beer!

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a lone bottle at a store and had to try it. 750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.
Upon pouring slowly, this beer is jet black and produces a three-inch head that takes forever to settle. The head is the color of brown sugar and has almost Belgian-like texture. Lacing and head retention are both excellent.
The smell is one few faults this beer has. There is some coffee, chocolate, and toast, but it's covered a bit with alcohol.
Taste is awesome. Espresso, bitter chocolate, and toast shine, while subtle notes of dried berries and vanilla liger in the backround. Alcohol is present, but only slightly.
Mouthfeel of this brew is creamy, rounded, and very full-bodied. For the power and depth the beer has, it's very easy to drink, and a perfect sipper for a cool night. It's excellent right now, but it would do great with a year of age or so. A great way to celebrate a 30th Anniversary.

30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 969 ratings.