30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

431 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 431
Hads: 792
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 6.59%
Wants: 35
Gots: 221 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Ghenna on 07-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 431 | Hads: 792
Photo of SDtastentune
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Black/dark dark brown, no head.. poured slow. Not much lace.

S - malts, alcohol, roasty, almost a little sweet in its own way.

T - Taste is super! Malts, alcohol, roasty, slightly bitter, great balanced after taste, whiskey or bourbon hints.

M - Higher carbonation but suits it well with the high alcohol 10.2%, goes down smooth.

D - Drinks hot, must be ready for its obvious characters. Barley wine mixed with a porter or stout, great aftertaste makes you want more. Very balanced. THUMBS WAY UP - GREAT BREW! (518 characters)

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a tulip glass. Two fingers of an exquisite dark tan head float gently atop of a rich ebony brew! Sticky lacing drips away, leaving little islands of lacing all around!

S- Charred malts, coffee, light hints of bittersweet chocolate. The hops comes thru a bit, but it folds under the pressure of the smoke, char, and sweet toffee. Nice dried fruit in there as well. Roasted figs, cherry, and raisinettes candy!!! All the best of a Barleywine/Stout/Quad!!! This is unreal!!!

T- The dried fruit and smokeiness hit you right up front! Bitter coffee, citrus peel and hops then jump in leaving you confused! Sweet toffee, chocolate, orange peel, grassy hops, dried figs and toasted nuts! I don't even know how to classify this!!! Is it a barleywine? A Stout? A Smoked Quad? LOL!!! Whatever it is... It's rediculous and delicious!!! The best Sierra Nevada brew I've ever had!!!

M- A bit to thin to be a Stout... a little too hoppy to be a Quad, and way to smokey and sweet to be a Barleywine!!! There is so much going on in here, it feels like I mixed a few brews together! My tongue is telling me bitter hops... but in a coffee/cocoa kinda way... sweet fruit malts... but in a bright citrus kinda way... and roasty and deep... but with a ton of dried fruit!!! I'm confused... yet totally on board with this one!!! It's absolutely BRILLIANT!!!

O- This just may be "THE" most complex and absolutely amazing beer I've ever had!!! It has so much going on, with a depth of flavor like no other!!! Smoke, sweet, bitter, bright fruit, dried fruit, malty and bready... this brew has more going on in it then the Batcave!!! (1,630 characters)

Photo of curtiswvu
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark mahogany with a deep brown light around the edge. Thick brown head with tight bubles that leaves ;ight lacing circles behind.

Smell: Coffe grounds, chocolate, light pine, leather and a touch of oak.

Taste: What a barleywine. WOW, I am just set back by this beer, I never knew Barelywine could rival a great imperial stout. This beer is so smooth but full of hops and chocolate with a real coffee after taste. The carbination is high but it really works well in the beer. Alcohol becomes more noticable as it warm to almost a light irish whiskey finish. Amazing stuff.

Feel: Smooth with a godo amount of carbination. Hides the alcohol heat well. Medium to thick body.

Drinkability: This is a smooth as an off the shelf barley wine will ever be and just a couple steps away from a Guinness/Dragons Milk smoothness. One bottle is plenty for me and I'm a big boy.

Once I can drive again tomorrow (I feel tosty after one bottle of this) I am buying a couple cases, one for the cellar and one for the upstairs fridge. This is a true achievement, really brings me back 10 years to when I first discovered Sierra and craft beer. Welcome back old friend, you've never looked better.

Serving type: bottle (1,281 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review from 8/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark ruby amber, black in the glass, with a nice persistent dark tan head and lacing. Delicious dark fruits, coffee, chocolate and malts with a few other unidentifiable but pleasant flavors. Piney, malty middle with hops and a hop finish. Nice medium barley wine-like body. Very well done and fun to drink. A cross between Bigfoot and a imperial stout. Whoa! I look forward to drinking this over the next 10 years. (487 characters)

Photo of DarthGreybier
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As the name implies pours an almost opaque warm black colour.Very slight carbonation with a creamy substantial head of an almost white cream hue(nice uniform lacing)Welcomes you like a warm parlour on a cool evening. A beautiful aroma of earthy pine/citrus balanced by roasted slighty nutty maltiness and hints of dried fruits(dates/fig).Upon tasting the flavors one would expect yet hints of flavours not yet fully developed. Can't wait to try abottle that has matured a little.thick and just slightly heavy on the tongue.Easy to drink though respectfuly.Have recomended and do so now. A definite drink again! (610 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: deep dark black. stout like

smell: loaded and more loaded hops and citrus aroma with roasted malt flavor

taste: rich almost stout like with loads of hop presence. like a hoppy stout with less body

mouthfeel: medium

drinkability: up there as one of the best barleywines ever (289 characters)

Photo of deadliest
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Made the mistake of thinking I had picked up the Imperial Stout, what a happy mistake that was! Especially since I wouldn't normally care much for barleywines and may not have picked it up had I known.

A: 22oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. Opaque brown-black pour with a full creamy dark khaki head. Almost a stained-glass red around the edges.

S: Pleasantly hoppy for a barleywine, I like this take on the style. The balance of piney hops and the dark roasted malts is excellent. Quite noticeable alcohol on the nose will probably age this into perfection, too bad I don't have another to try with.

T: Mind blowing. Roast barley, piney hop bitterness, malt sweetness, coffee, and alcohol all manage to be balanced, but not so far as to be muddled. Each flavor is distinct and appreciated.

F: Full, slightly creamy feel with light carbonation with an alcohol warmth that isn't overpowering.

D: Outstanding for the style, the only thing that could improved about it would be fixed by adding some age to it to mellow the alcohol out a little. Two years on this would be just about right in my opinion. (1,110 characters)

Photo of evanforbeer
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Pours a thin black with brown hues with beige head

Nose: big rich dark fruits, caramel, and honey, with an underlying roastiness/chocolate. Spectacular

Taste: starts with big caramel and toffee with a little floral presence and juicy dark fruits (fig, dried cherry), subtle citric hop bite. Some light coffee and cocoa arise, maybe a touch of tobacco in there. finishes with a complex swath of sticky caramel, coffee, and hops

Feel: smooth, rich, roasty, sticky, drinkable, balanced

Fantastic. Been sitting for 4 years and it's amazing, a top-notch barleywine with a touch of stout-like roastiness. (602 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Props to XicanoBeerRun for managing to hold on to this bottle for so long!

This pours black—well, a dark, dark burgundy color with an intense amber ruby hue around the edges. Some fizz still hangs around, more than I’d expect with a year’s age. It smells sweet with hints of citrus and candied fruit—candied orange and grapefruit rind—with some booze. Tastes strongly sweet with a mellow hoppiness. Yes, the hops have faded but they left behind a residual pineyness and some chewy heft to balance the roasty malts. Still fizzy enough to say that the effervescence keeps it light bodied for such a big beer. Makes me wish I had notes from last year to compare. Yum. (675 characters)

Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.
Thick rich abundant head in spite of a careful pour that retained extremely well.
Full aroma. Taste even more so. Rich chocolate malt presence alcohol well hidden.
Aftertaste the hops take over leaving a mild sense of dryness.
Very drinkable and would definitely have another except for the high alcohol content. (338 characters)

Photo of Beejay
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Mahogany brown as it pours out the bottle, in the glass it is black. MASSIVE head on this, huge thick and full.

S: Nice malt aroma mixed with dark roasted grains, and a great hop scent. Caramel sweetness and American hops form a very lovely harmony in the smell of this guy.

T: The first thing I get is a hit from the booze, then dark roasted grains and a strong American Hop flavor. Nice sweet finish with raisons, molasses, and brown sugar. Very well balanced, and quote a stunning beer.

M: Nice medium to thick body. Carbonation is nice and appropriate for the style. the finish is fairly clean with a nice lingering bitterness.

D: I didn't know what to expect from this, but man am I pleased. This beer is delightful, delicious and a wonderful harmony between roasted malts and aggressive hops. Very good. (817 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my buddy Jason for this one!

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into an oversized snifter. This was corked and caged, letting loose a loud "pop" with a hiss of air when I removed the cork.

Pours a very dark obsidian, with a frothy 1" tan head that is quite uncharacteristic of any barleywine I've ever had before. Then again, this is a "black" barleywine ale, so I suppose that would account for the difference.

Has a yeasty, malty aroma, tons of dark spicy fruit, molasses, brown sugar, alcohol, and vanilla. The more you breathe in, the more you can smell in this. Quite complex and pleasing, this has an excellent aroma.

Taste is similarly excellent. Sweet, spicy, and malty, with a strong alcohol profile, vanilla extract, bitter chocolate, very low yeastiness, and a hopped finish. Frankly, it tastes like a barleywine/RIS mixture. Think black-and-tan, with the black being an imperial stout, and the tan an American barleywine style ale. There's a bit of a smokey finish that wafts back up through the nose that makes you really want to sip it slow.

Full bodied to be sure, with a spiced hoppiness that is enough to get the tongue and gums tingling. The sweetness of this brew leaves the tongue dry and slightly tacky.

Overall this is a phenomenal brew. Looks and smells great, and with a unique taste that, despite its being characterized as a barleywine, really hits you more like a specialized imperial stout. Strong and heavy, this is a very filling ale, so you may want to split it with a friend. Cheers! (1,525 characters)

Photo of Jerone
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown, close to black, with a milk chocolate colored two finger creamy head and great lacing.

Smell is dark roasted robust malts, hops, molasses and dark fruit. A bit of alcohol comes through too.

Taste is first of roasted malt, liqourice, dark fruit and then in the end the hops hit and leave you with a pine bitterness along with some dark chocolate bitterness. You taste some alcohol too which is a bit harsh with the other flavors.

Thick bodied beer that coats your mouth, not much carbonation.

Great beer, get it if you can. (547 characters)

Photo of The3rdbeer
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared and well taken care of, poured into Bruery tulip glass. Initial 1 1/2 fingers of thick dark tan head that fades after a minute or so but sticks around as a very thin but completely full lacing that remains even after 6 minutes.

A- very dark brown black, cannot shine a iPhone light through to pick up any light through the other side of glass heavy Lacing remains even 10 minutes in.

S- still has a huge nose of Carmel and toffee with the smell of piney sweet hops almost a lacquer essence, also some spice in the background and a hint of booze.

T- WOW all flavors have mellowed out perfectly. Thankfully no traces of oxidation. Leaves you with perfect harmony. The malt has taken a step back but still present in form of toffee right after malt subsides the piney hop flavor picks up, the sweetness in the hop aroma in the nose has not translated to the hop flavor so it's not cloying at all. Finishing up back with the toasted malt flavor which brings nutty flavors and finally hop resin. A lot of substance at the perfect volume after having all this time to mellow out.

M- carbonation died very quickly but you don't need it. On the fuller side of medium it's lightly mouth coating very nice for the aged profile of flavors

O- I am very glad I sat on this for as long as I did. Although I don't think it would get any better with anymore age. Fantastic barleywine and really taught me what a difference a few years makes for a big beer (1,453 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 mL corked and caged bottle into a snifter. This is the 30th anniversary beer so it likely has about 3 years of age on it.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown and leaves a couple fingers of tan head, which linger around for a LONG time. Very good looking beer - I've never seen a head like this. The head looks like a coffee milkshake.

Smell: Vanilla, a kick of toffee, figs and plums and coffee lead the way along with some cocoa and plenty of malts. Well balanced aroma, I like the amount of vanilla that comes through.

Taste: Matches the nose very well - vanilla, a hint of coffee, malts, dark chocolate, toffee, dark fruits. Really delicious combination of flavors. Very little hop flavors, likely because of the age, but the age has done wonders for this. Alcohol is all but hidden.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation, with a thick, creamy body. Wonderful texture - the carbonation is still there enough to give this one some life.

Overall: I am extremely impressed with this beer. The delicious vanilla, bitter coffee and dark chocolate flavors are delicious, and the whole beer comes together brilliantly from the texture and flavors to the smell. Terrific. (1,184 characters)

Photo of lnashsig
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured for a special occasion! Wife and I 7th year anniversary and good news from a friend.

Also, beer #6 of the #BOTG challenge with @astrosguy celebrating a big come from behind win tonight! A lot to celebrate indeed. Ok, on to the review:

Cork opened with a loud POP! Some smoke hazes off the top of the bottle. Poured from bottle into CBS snifter. Pours a rich black/brown color, nice creamy looking off white head sticks around. Good looking brew. Smell- roasted grain, molasses, bourbon, definite alcohol presence. Taste- whoa. liquorice, brown sugar, dark chocolate. The booze may be on the nose, but its not at all on the palate. This is so smooth, the age has really mellowed it out. For the 10% ABV, there is no booziness at all. Some nice woodiness comes out after awhile. Vanilla notes, oak notes. This is a pretty complex beer, and I am really glad I took a couple yrs to lay it down. (899 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Deep brown body topped with a very thick, creamy, tan-colored head. Roasted grains and cocoa scented smells with hints of vanilla and raisins; a subdued alcohol presence in the background. Taste and feel is rich and warm, infused with dark chocolate and malt flavors; alcohol heat pops up and combines with an intense hop bitterness to create a very nice complement to the malt sweetness. Medium-heavy mouthfeel with a deep smoothness on the tongue.

A great beer that comes across better than the sum of its parts. A powerhouse beer across the board with the malt components taking center stage with outstanding dark malt characteristics and does an excellent job of keeping the high ABV tamed and very approachable. An outstanding offering that, with fingers-crossed, may see the light of day again...!!! (806 characters)

Photo of Manoftyr
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours a rich chocolate brown giving rise to a splendidly fluffy off white head leaving dabs of lacing along the sides and finally lowers to form a nice thin layer with a ring around the edges of the glass.

Aroma-Burnt and darkly roasted malts mingling with a gentle hoppiness; I can detect smells of dark coffee, cocoa, very dark caramel as well as the pine and citrus of the hops.

Taste-Darkly sweet caramel malts followed by a crisp burnt malt character lead off into a pleasant citric hop bite. As it warms I'm detecting more complexities to the dark malt character; I can appreciate brown sugar, blackstrap molasses, black coffee, dark sticky toffee and bitter burnt dark fruit. The malt profile really comprises the central flavor profile making this different than Bigfoot in that regard but the hops are by no means invisible.

Mouthfeel-Medium carbonation, thick with a syrupy full body; a bitter and dry finish with some nice alcohol warmth.

Drinkability-I could be drinking this one *ALOT* faster, believe you me, but it's just so damned tasty that I'm forcing myself to take sips. Even still; now that I'm done with this review the bottle is done and my glass is half empty. This beer impressed me the most out of the three I sampled tonight. (1,267 characters)

Photo of brewski09
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2010 30th anniversary release 750mL served in a Founders Stout pint glass on 4/11/2013

A - Dark brown that's opaque black with a 3cm tan/light brown head. The beer is a very dark brown when held up to the light. Brilliantly clear brown. The head sticks around in tight, thick clumps of foam.

S - roast, dark rum-soaked raisens, sherry or vermouth tones. a mild vegetal note is mixed in with the oxidized alcohols. There is a malt backbone still present under the other stronger aromas. some mild vegetal hoppy aroma floats through it.

T - bitterness, astringent roasted malts, booze, oxidized EtOH, generic hoppiness in the background. The roast malt and ozidized booze linger on.

M - sugary sweet with a good mouth coating. This beer has nice, fine carbonation on the palate. a pleasant feeling.

O - This beer has held up very well for the last 2 years. A good beer experience and very much worth holding on to for the last couple of years.

initial tasting 11/13/2010
22oz. bottle into wine glass.

A. Poured into wine glass from low height directly into center of glass. Poured in with low starting foam, and then transitioned into aproximately 1.5 inches of brown creamy foam. The foam settled into a light frothy head with medium lacing along the walls of the glass. The color is a deep black, more like a stout than expected.

S. The first smell is a mild alcohol note mixed with roasted and smoked malts. The malts float through the aroma with more power as the beer warms. Hop aromas lead off with mild pine and a hint of english hop aromas.

T. The taste is initially of mild alcohol and heavy malts, transitioning into a mild piney/resin hop balance. The dominant flavor is chocolate and black malts, but the sweetness is not overpowering. There is no coffee aroma present.

M. The mouthfeel is full and rounded, but not syrupy. While not thick, the beer has substance enough to hold up on its own.

O. This is a good example of a barleywine that does not take the sherry like qualities I have often seen in other examples. I would have thought this was an Imperial Stout had I tasted it blind, but it would still get high marks anyway. I would recomend this as a barleywine to enthusiasts and newbies alike. Hopefully SN continues to make this as a limited release item from time to time. (2,304 characters)

Photo of cwguy5
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this on-tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte,NC. Poured into a 8.5oz chalice.

pitch black color with brown highlights; less than one finger head faded to a thin, covering cap; big, wide lacing, basically coated the glass

some solvent alcohol aroma at fist followed by notes of roasted malt, honey, and herbal suggestions

wow! roasted malt off the bat with some traces of dark chocolate, then some light booze with a hoppy and sweet finish

medium amount of fine carbonation; overall soft mouth feel; linger is complex not just dry or bitter

YUM. great combination of flavors that go so many different directions in your mouth. not overdone and really works well for me. delicious. (687 characters)

Photo of korguy123
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml Cork and caged into snifter.
Special thanks to my brother nwfodder for this one!

Quick story as this warms. So my brother got married on the 14th of August and their honeymoon was planned to be in Florida for a week. I did some research and grabbed him some cash and had him grab some Cigar City brews. He returned the following Tuesday with my beer and a "surprise" I pull the bottle out and he exclaims "It looked limited so I figured you'd want it" and now here I am with the Jack and Ken Black Barleywine! My brother makes me laugh, he's slowly getting into the craft scene.

And here we go!

A- Thin black pour. Looks deep rich ruby toned when held up to light. HUGE three finger egg shell head that grows and grows. Lacing is impeccable!

S- Bitter hops upfront, sweet toasted malts, coffee, vanilla, grapefruit, faint bourbon smell.

T- Rich toasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, mildly bitter hops, grapefruit, pineapple, light smoke taste. The alcohol is non existent in taste. As it warms further the bitter hops and citrus notes basically disappear, opening a even stronger malt, chocolate and coffee tone to this. Very complex.

M- Cream, silky, slight carbonation tickle on the tongue. Sticky sweet on the lips.

D- The alcohol is very well hidden in the smell and taste of this one (until you try to stand up) As it's a little on the cold side it reminds me more of a black ipa rather than a black barleywine, almost like drinking a Sublimely Self Righteous. As it warms the barleywine almost disappears and a porter is most prevalent. Whether slightly cold or slightly warm every sip put a smile on my face. Excellent brew that I'll have to get more of! (1,675 characters)

Photo of MisterE
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big 1 pt 9.4 oz bomber purchased for $8.99 from Ward's

A: poured into a tall pilsner glass with a large, fluffy tan head that lasted a long time; dark as night, even when held up to a light

S: heavenly aroma of hops, yeast, chocolate, and dark roasted malt

T: this may well be the best brew I've ever tasted - the elements of barleywine and imperial stout in one beer - hops are present but not overly bright; complex blend of chocolate and licorice notes in the malted barley

M: smoooth! and soft on the tongue

D: an AMAZING beer (perhaps better enjoyed without distractions), but at this ABV, not one to be consumed in excess

notes: My expectations for this beer before I tasted it were very high, but I am left in awe. Thank you Jack & Ken! (749 characters)

Photo of July2Nov
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Tamura's Wines & Liquors for $12.99.

Appearance: It's everything I like my beers to look like; Dark (no light comes through at all!) with a with a frothy, rich 1/2 inch of foam resting on top (lasted the entirety of the beer).

Smell: Sweet fruity notes, slight hops....very enticing.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth and velvety! Like butter melting in the mouth. For a 10% abv this one is a subtle deceiver. Slightly hoppy upfront, and balanced nicely with a robust maltiness. Pepper notes come through. The taste is great, but I can't get over the mouthfeel of this one....one of the best I've ever tasted. You must experience this one yourself.

Drinkability: So glad I bought three of these, because I'm going to revisit this. This is one of those special beers that need to be savored with friends or for special occasions...though, I would argue that drinking this IS the special occasion. Please do yourself a big favor and find this. It's well worth your trouble. Sierra Nevada does it once again! (1,016 characters)

Photo of NightINgale
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my Sierra Nevada XXX glass (the time has come for it to be used for one of the beers it was made for)

A - This looks beautiful! Dark brown body, with a mahogany glow to it. Very rich, creamy tan-coloured head. Marvellous head retention and impressive lacing.

S - Lots of roasted malts on the nose, with hints of caramel, dark fruit and chocolate. Hints of cherry, grapes, and vanilla. The beer still smells fairly hoppy despite the ageing and has some grapefruit in the aroma.

T - At first, I'm tasting a very solid maltiness with a nice roastiness to it (bitter chocolate, toffee, maybe a hint of coffee), then come the hops (with a surprisingly solid bite, even after 1.5 years of ageing). I also get a little bit of vanilla. After this, the taste transforms even more, giving out some fruity notes (red grapes, raisins, cherries). There is also a slight spiciness and a hint of alcohol in the taste, which doesn't make it any less exciting and even adds a port wine-like quality to the beer.

The after-taste brings some bitter grapefruit and sweet chocolate taste, which lingers on for a while. After the beer warms up, you begin tasting more dark fruits (raisins, prunes, dates) and chocolate, while the hops shift to the background.

M - Medium bodied, medium level of carbonation. Slightly boozy, especially after it warms up. Very smooth, though a little spicy.

O - This probably is one of the most complex beers I've ever had! Brewed by 2 great brewmasters, this beer is a wonderful combination of English-style barleywines and truly American-style creativity. If you can still find this beer, get it! You won't regret it. Free yourself an evening and enjoy this marvellous big beer thoroughly! (1,734 characters)

Photo of GabrielM
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - deep, dark (almost black) amber color with a 1/2-inch creamy off-white head.

S - hops, hops, and more hops! But not intense hops, mind you. Also a ton of caramel and some malt sweetness in there. Smells inviting and refreshing.

T - very surprising - this isn't the hop bomb that I was expecting (which is a good thing)! Extremely smooth hop to malt ratio with caramel and oak to balance everything out. A little hop bitterness is that last thing on the pallet, but it's very fitting and welcomed.

M - awesome! Smooth, creamy and balanced. Carbonation is right on from start to finish.

D - damn delicious and with barely a hint of alcohol, but I know it's there (10.2 % ABV) because I'm already starting to get a slight buzz. Of course, that could be due to the fact that I'm really excited about this brew and how great it drinks. (865 characters)

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30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.