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
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 Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 666 | Ratings: 1,004
Reviews by beagle75:
Photo of beagle75
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color with one finger of dense and persistent beige foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Dark roast is moderate in intensity, complemented by a fine thread of smoke. Carbon dioxide is detectable, with lesser fruit, but no alcohol presence.

T: Begins off-dry, with roasted malt that is bready and affected by baking spices, especially cinnamon. A combination of volatile mint and heavy earth follows, suppressing acidity. Flavors become more dry into the middle where spirituous fruit is dark and slightly tannic. The finish is husky and very dry--robust--with dark malt in balance with bitter char and unctuous cocoa.

M: Thick viscosity, chewy and smooth on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: Nearing its second birthday, this beer remains a remarkable strong stout. While the malt profile may have deepened with time, the lively hops that were so notable early on are still detectable. After having sampled the barrel-aged version at FoBAB, this beer adds weight to the argument that sometimes it is better to leave well-enough alone. Fritz and Ken's Pioneer Stout will be missed when it is gone.

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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 yourefragile
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very nice looking 750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance of the beer is a perfect for the style. Opaque, thick pitch black with a retentive fluffy fine bubbled mocha colored head. Aroma is mild, roasted, molasses sweet and slightly abrasive alcohol. Body is silky and smooth with soft carbonation. Flavor is much more enjoyable than the aroma and has a strong roasted malt body, with notes of coffee, chocolate, and molasses. Very creamy and smooth with long lasting flavor. Not overly complex but an excellent, well balanced stout that should hold up to some aging, but I wouldn't expect much improvement from it.

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

pours back and beautiful with a thick brown head and plenty of

lacing - smell is lots of yeasty fruit with a bit of cocoa mixed in there, quite typical for a big stout, but a bit more sourish/fruity stuff going on than usual for such a dark charactered beer.

taste is very intense, multi-geared and terrific, a mix of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate and some very present raspberries and prunes, wow!

a very nice stout from a great brewery these compilation beers are so cool!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ML bottle into my new Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with 1.5 fingers of brown head and light carbonation evident. Nice lacing and froth.

s - Smells of roasted malts, coffee, and sweet dark fruits. Also some chocolate and vanilla. Very nice mixture.

t - Taste is again roasted malts, coffee, bitter chocolate, and some hops. Also some sweetness. Little bit of alcohol in the aftertaste.

m - Very smooth and creamy. Full body and moderate carbonation.

d - I thought this was a really nice stout. It looked amazing and had a great smell and taste. It was a great, well balanced mixture of smells and tastes that did not let any one overpower the rest. Would love to try it again.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Oooh! On tap in NJ. Had to sample, heard good things.

Served in a chalice.

Creamy, mocha-colored head that lasts until after the first sip. A scuzzy ring from the apex of the meniscus remains throughout. Dark, yes, but held to the light, red and milk chocolate.

Not much alcohol coming off the top. Well, that's a plus. Moderate sweetness - like a coffee syrup, a pinch of roasted bitterness, and a faint essence of aging hops.

Sweet espresso flavor with a soft touch of hops. Mildly roasted. I'd like to say powdered hot cocoa - could be my imagination.

9.2% huh? Didn't notice it 'til I was done. Hmmm, I'm feeling more of an espresso porter than Imperial stout with this one. Still worth trying for sure. I'm intrigued by how this might age in the bottle....

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Photo of adrock7309
3.69/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this lunker about a year ago or whenever it was first released.

Poured into a snifter and to my delight, was a lot more thick and viscous than I was anticipating based on other reviews.

About two inch head formed after an aggressive pour. Pretty dark head but not on the really dark end of the stout head spectrum. A little bit of lacing but not much

Smell was heavy on the roast, a bit of chocolate and a TON of smoke. I was caught off guard by the robustness of the smoke and was not expecting it at all.

Flavor was also roasty malt, a bit of an anise tinge, and either a liquid smoke or extremely burnt coffee flavor was overpowering.

Mouthfeel was great and the overall drinkability was only ok. As it warmed the mocha flavors and more smoke came out.

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Photo of Rempo
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of trippnwo
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of melikesbeer
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of bakeith
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of harryhops
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of MasterSki
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I bought this bottle a while back, so this is aged 2.5 years I guess. Served in a plastic cup.

A - Tan foam slowly settles to a thin cap, collar, and some mild lacing. Very dark brown body.

S - Baker's chocolate, touch of umami, roasted malts, hints of char and anise. This has held up quite well; I don't remember much difference in flavor profile from when I had it fresh, but quickly consulting early reviews I glanced at.

T - The taste is quite a bit sweeter, with notes of caramel, milk chocolate and more peripheral roasted malts and char. Mild espresso bitterness that lingers into the finish. No obvious alcohol, and perhaps a bit of sweet oxidation creeping in.

M - Medium-full body, roasty texture, with some mild lingering stickiness on the palate. Lower carbonation, and again no obvious alcohol warmth.

D - A solid, well-crafted beer, as is usual from Sierra Nevada. This has aged quite well and I imagine a barrel-aged version would be quite delicious; does such a thing exist? In any case, the beer is good enough to warrant a re-brew. Shared this with a few friends and it went down super easy.

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Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of biglite351
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - dark with no red tall dark head that is slow to fall.

S - mild hop. Malts with a little chocolate.

T - bold stout with mild hop taste. It even seems to have a mild bourbon aged portion to it.

M - good coating and a mild tingle on the tongue.

D - I do not care for hops or bourbon so both seemingly present here hurts.

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Photo of HopfenUndMalz2015
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: dark chocolate color, finger thick tan foamy head, thick sticky lacing
S: waited a bit to warm up.....aromas of dark chocolate, caramel, molasses, and roasted coffee.
T: very malt forward, caramel, dark chocolate, molasses, raisin, and toffee, well balanced with slight bitter finish to creamy, buttery lingering. Alcohol is not overpresent, well balanced with the malt and hop.
M: full bodied mouthfeel light carbonation
O: An outstanding stout. One of my all time favorites.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is strong, malty and yeasty with coffee and oily undertones - quite appealing. It pours a deep, opaque coffee brown with a fairly thick fine-bubbled light tan head. Rich flavor is chocolaty and malty with an undertone of coffee and a hint of licorice. It is somewhat sweet but not too sweet, and has a firm alcohol bite. Texture is smooth yet edgy and has a decent fizz. Happy 30th, Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of PDXHops
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would have sworn I'd reviewed this stuff fresh. Oh, well... 750 ml cork-and-cage bottle poured into an Olde Hickory glass. Sizeable tan head with incredibly tenacious retention. Plentiful soapy lacing as well. Dark and lovely down below.

Smells of berries, figs, roasted and burnt malts with hints of smoke and soap. I caught myself kinda wondering if this stuff was gonna be a bit on the awkward side, but one sip made me a believer. (And of course now I'm kicking myself for not grabbing more while I had a chance; I've only got one bottle left after this one.) There's a smoke-and-leather thing going on here that reminds me a lot of HOTD Adam, which happens to be my favorite beer. Add a lush, velvety feel and you've got a winner on your hands. Great balance of roast/burnt malts, bitter chocolate, moderate sweetness and dark fruits with the smoky/leathery combo tying it altogether. Pleasantly warming. Interestingly, I recall having an impression of this stuff fresh as something along the lines of "nice big roasty stout, pretty straightforward", but it's cellared into something quite interesting. Very nice indeed.

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

Poured in to Duvel tulip
Tasting notes from: 6/3/10

A - Dark Black with coffee coloured head and good lacing.

S - Roasted malts - predominantly coffee; some dark fruit as well. There is also a sweetness in the background.

T - Roasted coffee with some chocolate malts. Some dark fruit in the background. Slight alcohol taste was present, but it was not overwhelming by any means. A very well balanced imperial stout.

M - Medium body. Slightly silky. Lightly carbonated.

D - An excellent imperial stout. Excited to see how this develops with age.

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tedho21
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of hosehead83
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass
Deep,dark, cascading pour leaving a huge,super-thick head of creamy foam that takes its damn time settling so you have to wait impatiently for that first sip. But it's a good thing. A beautiful looking stout that wants you to undress it with your eyes for a bit.
Aroma-Chocolate and roasted coffee notes
Taste-Wow! Big chocolate/cocoa notes, roasted coffee, and a beguiling,ghost-like smoky backbone that fades in and out leaving hop and citrus notes as the flavor curls around your tastebuds. Super creamy and rich, perplexing and mysterious, a shape-shifting delight of of an Imperial Stout that hides its strength in a wonderful tapestry of flavors.
Truly one of the best stouts, imperial or otherwise, that I have ever had. Thank you Fritz and Ken! I raise my glass high-Cheers!!

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Photo of hopstacle
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch Black with a thick creamy tan head. Head retention is good as well as the lacing.

S- Toasty, chocolate malt.

T- Toasty, Roasted chocolate malt.

M- Smooth and creamy.

D- At 9.2% this is quite smooth and hides it's alcohol level quite well.

Although I haven't drank many stouts in my day I would have to say that I am pretty impressed with this brew. This is one of the smoothest beers I have ever drank and the chocolate malt flavor is just amazing. I bought 2 bottles to age indefinitely. I can only imagine how they will taste after a couple years. Get it while you can!

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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