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
1,004 Ratings
30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,004 |  Reviews: 666
Reviews by GClarkage:
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -5.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance; Obsidian in color, with a small, dense tan head, which persists very well. Thick, fine-beaded lacing utterly coats the glass wall in an unbroken sheet.

Aroma: Cold coffee, roasted black malt and bitter cocoa dominate the aroma. There is also a mild note of vinous alcohol, which is rather subtle, considering the rather high ABV of 9.2%. There is also a note of wood, perhaps American oak?

Taste: The taste begins with a surge of roasted malt, bitter cocoa and cold coffee. The roasted malt dominates the taste from start to finish, but the cold coffee and bitter cocoa are solid counterpoints. Mild citric and pine hops provide a counterpoint to the malt. There is a little earthiness in the undercurrent, but quite understated. Finishes with a lingering note of bittersweet chocolate.

Mouth feel: Quite full and very soft, with delicate carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Truly excellent, even after too many years of proper cellaring. Another example of a beer where I regret the fact that it cannot be had again.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard 750 ml brown glass bomber, with a cork and cage, served in a South American Pilsener-style glass.

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

Great to see this collaboration.Poured into a tulip glass a ink black,a large billowing mocha head atop that left rings of lace behind as it settled into a frothy top.Big bitter chocolate,mollases,and espresso roast in the nose,a lingering fruity tinge shows through as well,alot of good stuff going on.Robust dark roast coffee on the palate,even a light smokiness come in to play.Highly roasted with bitter chocolate,this is a nice not overly sweet impy stout,I really enjoyed this alot.

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

Appearance - This is a big black beer with a monster head. The head is raw sugar brown and rises up like a banshee. This really is a sight to behold.

Smell - The roasted coffee and espresso beans are huge here. I'm guessing my neighbors can smell this thing and I have all the windows in my house closed. The raw sugar is there as well but really it's the roasted beans that dominate this nose.

Taste - The espresso is equally large at the taste. Some reviews commented on the harshness of the flavors but I found them very smooth. They are big, but smooth. There are a lot of really good sugary notes to this one that keep the espresso from abusing the palate but those roasty notes are monstrous.

Mouthfeel - This is full-bodied with a stern but soft bitterness from beginning to end and a light carbonation in keeping with the style.

Drinkability - This just got better as the night went on and turned out to be a wonderful way to end a Saturday evening. The flavors are big but compatible, the sensation in the mouth is smooth and huge, and the expert blending makes this a classic example of a successful big beer execution. Avery take note.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Review is from notes made on 3/27/11.

I poured 1/2 of the big bottle into a large snifter, resulting in a fluffy, 2-3 chocolate milk-colored head. The body is just about pitch-black with just a slight brownish tint around the edges. The lacing looks like a descending firework and is pretty sticky.

The smell contains a roasty character with dark chocolate undertones. It borders on a smoky, charred meat smell. Frankly, it makes me want some barbecued pork to go along with it. When swirled, the smell is more milk chocolate, with the roast and smoke more the background. Notes of vanilla and caramel are also present.

The taste presents a roasty twang upfront and on the sides of my palate. This is enhanced by a hop presence, although the bottle is close to a year old, so I'm not positive about that. The roasty twang then transitions to a fairly sweet milk chocolate and caramel flavor on my tongue. The finish is relatively dry, roasty, and hoppy.

The mouthfeel is just a hair short of awesome. There is quite the bite on my palate from the roasty/hoppy combination and the beer is fairly creamy, but it is just a tad light for the ideal of the style.

If this wasn't a one-timer, I would look for it again. I find it to be very tasty, and while it isn't upper echelon, it is very good. Quite easily quaffable.

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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.

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Photo of npala86
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of weatherdog
2.72/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield Il, served in a 10oz. snifter

It poured a pitch black with a dense mocha head which hovered at a one finger height for a while. The lacing on this beer was great with a complex labyrinth of foam all along the sides of the glass.

The nose starts off with an insanely large roastiness to it. It's like my nose is right next to a coffee roaster where some of the coffee smells are present but because of my proximity to the roaster the acrid burnt notes are almost overpowering. At least thats the closest comparison I could make to the smell. Behind the roast was a surprising off-smell that I couldn't pin-point. It was like a dry worn sock but not as pungent. I don't have very much experience with off flavors or smells in beers so I'm not the best in describing them but this was just out of place and not very pleasant.

Unfortunately the taste mirrored the roast level of the nose. There was also a level campfire smokiness present. I've had some roasty beers before and can find a high level of roast enjoyable but this was just overwhelming. I couldn't really detect much hop flavor as described in previous reviews as the astringent roastiness overwhelmed my mouth. The off-smell I described in the nose was present in the flavor but in a much lower level thank goodness.

Mouthfeel was actually pretty creamy given the roasty beer and dryer finish which was nice. Drinkability suffered greatly because of the taste for me but I am happy to say that the ABV did not show itself in the least.

Overall I'm sad to say I was really disappointed in this beer. I had such high hopes for it and was glad too see the great reviews coming in. Unfortunately this beer just did not sit right with me. I'm happy that I found it on tap so I did not have to open up my bottle. Hopefully it will age nicely and in a year or two the roastiness will integrate into the beer better and will become a much tastier beer to me.

 1,948 characters

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

First installment of their 30th Anniversary Series. Towering head, black no doubt. Charred wood, heavily com- plex malt and yeast are the face of the aroma. Creamy and smooth, a whole lot of char on the palate but not overly burnt. Woody undertones meet; warming alcohol is well positioned. A bit of espresso and unsweetened dark chocolate in the middle. Hint of molasses-like sweetness in the finish. Hard to expect anything other than sheer greatness here--obviously that is delivered and then some.

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

A - Pours a viscous black with a huugggeeee, sticky tan head. Bottle really popped like a champagne when the cork was removed. Lots of lacing and that head lasts.

S - Tons of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee. There is a little fruit sweetness in there too, some hops must be coming through.

T - All that roasted malt on the nose really comes though nicely on the palate. Great blend of black and chocolate malt, too often strong stouts are just exhibit too much chocolate. Not so with this, the darker roasted malts balance it nicely. There is also a fruit and malt sweetness in the middle that is awesome.

M - When I hear the pop when it opened I thought it would be over-carbonated. When I poured I thought it may be too thick. Both unfounded, this is the perfect feeling Imperial Stout.

D - An extremely well crafted Imperial Stout, everything is a balance. The alcohol is warming but not overpowering and it finishes subtly making you want another sip.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a nice beer. In a snifter it was black with a thick tan head. A lot of lacing. Coffee, chocolate, a little licorice in the aroma. The aroma was intensified in the taste, with lots of chocolate, bitter coffee/espresso, and some licorice. I really enjoyed the range of sweet to bitter. Had a good time drinking this.

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

Big pop as the cork comes off.

A - Pours pretty much pitch black with almost two fingers of creamy brown head. Head has excellent retention and maintains a thin cap throughout.

S - Even after two and a half years, there are still some piney hops in the aroma, along with some milk chocolate and quite a bit of cocoa. Prominent roasted malts with just a touch of char.

T - Nice chocolate malt taste, with a lot of milk chocolate to go with the cocoa taste, complimented by some faint pine and grapefruit hops. Surprised the hops have held on this long. I did have this fresh a couple of times, and I don't remember it being exceptionally hoppy, so surprising that the hops have lingered this long. Also some vanilla and coffee, but chocolate is clearly stealing the show here.

M - Medium/full mouthfeel, but definitely not heavy. Mostly dry.

O - This has been a very enjoyable stout throughout the first two and a half years after bottling. At this point, it is very easy drinking, with a little hop bitterness to compliment the malty base. Not sure how much longer this will hang on, but it is drinking very well right now.

 1,129 characters

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.

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Photo of generallee
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of bishopdc0
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popped this bottle for my sisters annuversery.

Shared with multiple people. I poured into my cantillion tulip.

the beer is dark black with a huge tan head. the head clings to the glass leaving thick laces up the side.

The nose is wonderful spicy chocolate creamy if it didnt taste so good i would just keep smelling.

The taste is well wonderful. Pulled this from my cellar at 55 degrees. Temp is perfect. Starts spiced from hops and the creamy chocolate comes in. At no point did i think this beer was too sweet and it is far from a dessert beer. The chocolate malts dry the tongue and leave a lingering bitter that is smooth and never harsh. very nice.

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Photo of mverity
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Inky black in color with good amount of light brown head and a thick collar. Aroma is very roasty, some dark sugar, some black currant, great earthiness. Thick body, silty mouthfeel and low carbonation. Taste is charred, deep earth, great use of roasted malt like all SN stouts, some coffee and mahogany-like wood.

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

750ml bottle. Pours deep, opaque, brown. Two fingers of fluffy brown foam. Aroma of chocolate, malty coffee, and some caramel. Basically it smells awesome. Head settles to a thin covering. Very strong up front, with chocolate followed by coffee. Finishes with a dry sweetness. The abv shows up with a slight kick on the finish but it's not at all unpleasant. Overall a great brew, I wish I would've been able to review it when it was produced a few years back instead of today. I can only say that two years after bottling it is a great brew. Balanced, complex and tasty. I may just have to track down another bottle.

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Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of merlin48
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a dark and inky body with a large and creamy head that is hued light brown. Excellent retention and waves of pretty patch lacing on the glass.

Bold aroma, with chocolate, roasted coffee beans, leather, and a hint of grassy/pine hops.

Thick and creamy full body has a moderated carbonation.

Taste is dominated by dark chocolate and coffee notes. Lots of complexities here, including dark fruits, grassy hop bitterness, tobacco, and a hint of berry tartness. Alcohol is well hidden.

Very tasty enterprise here. Very well put together.

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

Caged and corked bomber, open with a strong POP, pours black, under a thick and dense mocha head that does not go away, excellent retention, thick sheeting, and loads of thick lacing/collar/stickalotamus. Bitter chocolate, vanilla, cafe au lait in the nose. Flavorful, smooth, rich, creamy and pleasing Impy stout. A double mocha/milk chocolate stout comes to mind. An obvious choice to put away for a year of two, but this one drinks great fresh. Stout lovers go get some and enjoy.

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Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: minimal head, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: dark roasted malt

Taste: chocolate, roasted malt, big caramel and cream

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, bitter first taste becoming sweeter

Drinkability: I love the complexity of the beer. I was surprised by the amount of caramel I tasted. A good beer I could have several.

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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.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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

Picked this up at Top foods in Olympia

A- It looks like the perfect stout. Pitch black with a thick tan head. No stout could look better.

S- coffee, roast, chocolate, Figs?

T- Sierra Nevada didn't reinvent the stout with this one, but they did produce an classic stout with a lot of complexity. The taste builds upon the smell with huge coffee and roast flavors, and then some vanilla sweetness and some hoppy counter balance. Taste changes as it warms. Alcohol is not a significant characteristic.

M- thick and fluffy. lingers for a long time.

D- this is a fantastic stout. The only problem is how easy it is to drink. This feels like it could be a session stout (if there is such a thing) if it wasn't for the 9% abv. This beer is very tastey right now, but I don't know if it will be worth aging. But, of course , it couldn't hurt to tuck a bottle away anyway.

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30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 1,004 ratings