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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.

785 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 785
Reviews: 432
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 34
Gots: 219 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 785 | Reviews: 432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque dark crimson brown with a 2 inch khaki head that settles to a small cap. A curtain of solid lace coats the glass on the drink down. Something I have really never seen before on a beer. Smell is of toasted malt, brown sugar, caramel, and citrus zest hops. Taste is of toasted malt/biscuit flavors with a brown sugar/caramel and citrus zest finish. Alcohol flavors emerge as the beer warms. Medium hop bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a thick and smooth mouthfeel. A bit of a sticky feeling as well. Overall, this is a good take on a barleywine and a nice release for the 30th anniversary series.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Re-Review. Notes are from 9/4/14 (2010 bottle). From a bottle, pours an opaque dark brown with red hues with a fluffy full light tan head. As I drink, the head leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

The nose is dark fruit, plums, raisins, and figs. It smells a little sweet, molasses, chocolate, with spruce and resin. Faint roast that is clearly mellowing and falling into the background of the fruit and malt notes. The flavor is very balanced, moderately sweet. More plum and fig, a little resin hops and citrus juice. The finish is really clean and balanced.

This has aged very well and is drinking great right now. I would pop a bottle if you can.

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, especially for the style...sort of a Cascadian Dark Ale meets American Barleywine in the mold of Nemesis 2010 or, to a lesser degree, Sublimely Self Righteous. Smells strongly of American hops. Good grapefruit and citrus layered atop roast, sweetness, and hints of coffee and chocolate. The hops come out even more in the taste; really curious how the flavor of this will develop over time. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy on the alcohol, so hopefully that improves with time. Good all around concept and something I'd like to see more like in the future.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color and shows some traces of amber in the corner of the glass when held up to the light. It poured with some lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of dark malts in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of dark malts and a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is interesting and seems to taste like a hybrid between a Black IPA and an American Barleywine and is a lot more bitter compared to other barleywines. The alcohol is relatively well hidden from the taste.

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with rocky tan head; presents a very impressive amount of lacing

Smell: The caramel malt is clearly there in abundance, but barely makes a dent in the pinefest of hoppy aromatics; the alcohol is also present with a hint of burn in the nostrils

Taste: Unlike in the aroma, the caramel lays down a much bigger backbone up front, with the pithy and piney hops adding a fruity dimension through mid-palate; after the swallow, the hops take over and add aspirin-like bitterness to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Tastes more like a Black IPA than a barleywine but perhaps over time it will change; the strength of the malt and hop flavors compete in a way that makes the beer a bit less drinkable in its youth

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

Somewhat of a schizophrenic beer that challenges the notion of where an American Barleywine starts, a Russian Imperial Stout begins, and to what extent do Schwarzbiers and Imperial Porters play in the balance of this beer.

This beer is black, with an opaque appearance it carries a delicate and foamy creame similar to espresso. Light lacing and good retention cap the beer well.

Medium aromas of coffee, roast, malted barley, and a bark-like, nutty scent that gives complexity to the nose. Light on caramels, fruits, and sweetness this beer gravitates toward drier roastier beers.

Flavors of true malted barley lead the way while intense dry-roast, char, and heavy toast reside closely behind. Malted milk, resiny hop taste, and bitter cocoa also decorate the periphery of the beer. Still, low on fruit notes and spicy tones, this beer is very clean and controlled.

Froathy/malty early, the beer has a long and slow taper towards to dry toasty/roasty mouthfeel that eventually leads to hop bitterness and a long roasty finish.

The roasty or 'black' part of the beer has a tremendous impact on the flavor where I think I'd prefer a complimentary or cameo-appearance instead. The roast seems to overtake the Barleywine character to the point were it's tough to discern what the brewer's intent really is.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was probably my least favorite of the four, I'm not sure why but it's just a personal thing I guess. This brew poured out as a muddy looking brown color, the head was thin and white on top. The lacing was light and not really too impressive. The smell of the beer was hoppy and had a big malt sweetness in there too. The taste of the beer again had a big hop profile along with a hearty malt character. The mouthfeel of the beer was a little on the thicker side, good carbonation and pretty well balanced. Overall I liked the hops in this one a lot, they really knew how to tingle the taste buds.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last night of tastings. Sad really, now I will have to wait an entire month before I get to indulge in such things again. But what can you do, figured I would go out with a bang and hit up these new ones and get them off the list and out of the fridge. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, these were consumed on 11/18/2010.

Next up in my three new SN ales was the next installment of the anniversary series. I had been looking forward to this one for a while. The pour was a nice dark color, nearly black with a big head of chocolate colored foam that seemed to stick the sides nearly perfectly before letting itself down. Aroma was deep roasted malts, hints of hops, a burning, alcohol and a nice rounded leather like touch. Interesting mix here and it did come off a touch hot for me, but at the same time really did seem to work quite nicely. Light on the feel so definitely not too syrupy or full it just went down smooth and easy. The abv was hidden enough that it was easy for me to get caught up in it for sure.

Overall a very solid ale for sure, and a good one to be in this series. I was able to go back for seconds quite easily.

Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with about a finger's worth of tan head on top.

S: Sweet dark malts, toffee, and slightly burnt sugar lead the nose. Some slightly piney hops along with an alcohol note.

T: The flavor is a bit harsh. The hops and burnt character of the malt give a very bitter feel right away. The alcohol is also noticeable, though this seems like less of a problem to me. The sweetness is there, with some toffee and caramel, but certainly overshadowed by the bitterness.

M: The body is excellent (quite full), with a smooth, low carbonation.

D: I hope this one improves as it ages. As it stands, this is not a beer I would drink fresh.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a real firebreather. been aging since the 30th anniversary obviously. pours nearly black with a velvety red hue. impressive off white head for its age. smells like a very hoppy barleywine. a black ipa but stronger and older. ive got licorice in here in the taste, dried dark fruit, brown sugar, freakishly complex. the age must have worked on this one hard. tastes like decadence (as my flatmate wilson says). head holds on at about a quarter inch, and it gets woody and malty as it warms. wow. chocolate bockesque in a sense. mouthfeel is bomb, rich and thick and full bodied, bitterish dry hopped sort of creamy roundness. oh man i like it more and more as i sit here and sip on it. this is much mroe than a barleywine, especially in its aged form. i think 2 more years could pop it off even better. a strong rich hoppy black barleywine. very unconventional and very humbling. i feel blessed to cap a night with this thing. ahhh

Photo of largadeer
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nearly pitch black except for some deep reddish highlights when held straight to the light,a creamy-like one and a half finger tannish colored head atop that settled into a frothy mass.A good mix of bitter chocolate and piney hop in the nose,there is some dark fruit and roast as well.A big hopped up dark barleywine here,bitter chocolate and French roast coffee flavors really hit hard upfront,there is some dark fruit as well as some sweet alcohol to give the beer sweetness,a heavy dose of resiny/piney hop cuts thru any sweetness in the finish.A great beer here,it has so much going on,I liked it alot.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11 ounce goblet - $7.00 at The Fred in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a near black body underneath an inch-high layer of chunky-looking, beige foam.

Smell: Distinctly roasty black malt nose with notes of bitter chocolate, burnt toast, and ground coffee. The hops are second to the malts in the nose, but still generates scents of fresh pine and citrus.

Taste: Leading charred barley flavors of roasty coffee, molasses, crushed aniseed, and openly bitter chocolate with some lighter tastes of toast and toffee trailing behind. Faint dark fruitiness underneath all this roast. Moderately sweet, though it's curtailed by a solid charge of Cascade hops bringing resinous pine and citrus peel hop character as well as hearty bitterness. Slight acidity. As one might expect, the finish is roasty, bitter, and fairly warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Decently chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: What say I?? Aye or Nye?! I'll go with AYE. A tad unorthodox, sure, unless we're concocting Black DIPA's now, but it's pretty good for a full eleven ounce goblet's worth. I'll hold off for some time before cracking the bottle I picked up.

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cork discharges with a resonating pop. Into a stemmed wine glass it pours black, with frothy tan foam that has a meringue sheen to the surface. Tons of lace and a full, long lasting head.

Complex malts in the nose, sweet toffee and a little roastiness. Mild earthy pine bitterness in the taste, signature Sierra Nevada hop profile. This bitterness builds with more sips, but is tempered by the rich malt sweetness. Nicely balanced, still some nice hop character on display. Feels light enough to take a bigger sip, but better off slowly sipped. Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Nice sipper for winter weather.

Cheers to Sierra Nevada for 30 years of brewing!

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

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a thin, sudsy, tan head of foam. It left thin traces of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of burnt toast maltiness with floral notes. It had some sweet rich maltiness, too.

T - It tasted very bitter with a sharp hop bite. Good citrusy notes with a nice roasted malt backbone.

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

D - This is a very nice barleywine. I think I like "black barleywines" better than the standard versions.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dirty John's tulip pint glass.

The idea of a black barleywine seemed to stymie VDubb for a bit. It pours a dark ruby-tinted black topped by a healthy sandstone foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, chocolate, pine, and some light grapefruit. The taste holds more of the same, though the roasted malts and pine are cranked-up a notch, and some coffee finds its way in the back door. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a delightful little experiment in boundary-pushing, one that I hope catches on: I wanna see more black barleywines, dammit!

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

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30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 785 ratings.