30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

663 Reviews
30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bigbelcher on 03-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 663 | Ratings: 997
Photo of kingcrowing
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the 2010 Stout tasting in a Orval Chalice.

750ml limited release corked & caged bottle.

Pours an inky black with a small very brown head. It's got a strong malty nose.

Taste is really nice & smooth, easy drinking and has a slightly chalky finish but still quite mild and easy drinking.

1/22/2012 re-review

This is now two years old, curious to see how its aged. 750ml corked & caged bottle poured into an 8oz mini-nonic glass.

Pours a very dark black color with a small very creamy, fine chocolate milk colored head. Nose is a bit sweet, light roast coffee or dark chocolate, mellow and nice.

Taste is still very strong and sharp, the 9.2% abv is still there but fairly well balanced with dark slightly astringent maltiness, roast/burnt flavors come along with a surprisingly thin and light body, sharp carbonation. Finish is like dry dark chocolate.

This has held up well over the past couple years.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. I think this is almost two years old now, but I can't remember when it came out.

Appearance: Typical beautiful SN look. Opaque black, thick medium brown head that leaves some nice lacing in my snifter.

Smell: Very roasty with leathery notes. Bitter espresso more than chocolate. Herbal, grassy hops notes are still there.

Taste: Big on the roasty bitterness, without being astringent. Espresso beans and woody, charcoalish roast. Some sweetness and chocolate in the background attempts to balance, but roast wins, by a long way. Almost too much roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a soft creaminess. Very good.

Overall: I can't remeber what this was like fresh, but this is pretty damn good now. Definitely strong on the roast. A very assertive, tasty stout.

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Photo of drgarage
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Toronado SF.

Age has been good to this one. When fresh, this struck me as a pretty standard imperial stout. Tasty, but nothing special. With a year on it, it's become something beautiful -- significantly better than Abyss 2010 with the same amount of age on it (at least for this keg).

I won't go on with a bunch of adjectives, but I'll just say it tasted like drinking a pumpernickel pretzel covered in cacao nibs. Just lovely in every regard and no hint of its ABV to be found. Wish I were enjoying another now.

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Photo of alexgash
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750 ml bottle. Served at cellar temp.

Dark cola brown body. Clear around the edges (in the light). Beautiful, tall, two fingers of thick, creamy, dense, dirty sand brown head. Nice lacing up the sides of the flared snifter. Nose of milk chocolate, cocoa, candied figs, Concord grapes, caramel, and a modest dose of roasted coffee.

Strong roasted coffee bitterness greets the tongue. Roasty sweet malts soon come in, with rich notes of chocolate, sweet dark fruits, and smoky caramel. Bitterness becomes a little stronger, with herbal, woody, tannin flavors. Finish is bittersweet, with lingering licorice, dark chocolate, espresso, and herbal hops. Medium-full body with a slightly prickly feel. Even after more than a year of cellaring, this beer is mighty bitter and roasty. Still, a tasty sipper!

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Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, purchased 2/2011, no date code on bottle, well stored since purchased.

Poured into a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Pours a thick, creamy, one finger head, which slowly reduces to a lasting eighth inch cap. Some nice sticky lace hangs on the glass.
Black opaque color, with a medium dark tan head. Beautiful!

The aroma first hits you with a blast of rich, roasted malt, then bitter dark chocolate with hints of espresso, and even some hops buried in the back. As the Ale warms there is lots of interplay between the chocolate and espresso as each tries to dominate, but ultimately neither one does. Powerful and distinctive.

Unbelievably entry on the palate of powerful, exceptionally rich, bitter, deeply roasted, chocolately malt and caramel. Lots of flavors of dark unsweetened chocolate and strong bitter espresso. Very full mouth feel and perfect, fine, carbonation make for an exceptionally balanced Ale. As the Ale warms everything intensifies. Seems at its best at about 55 degrees. Incredibly delicious! Quite complex!

Extremely long finish of dark chocolate, bitter espresso, and roasted malt. It clings to your mouth like glue and will not be washed away! Lasts forever! Wow!

What an amazing Stout! One of the best I have ever had. Like a fool I had the opportunity to buy several bottles of this, but purchased only one.
Of the 30th Anniversary series, I consider this one to be the best, IMO. Of course the 9% ABV is impossible to detect. This Stout tastes like it was just tapped even after a year in bottle (it was stored in a temperature controlled wine cellar).
I would have to say this is one of the top 10 stouts that I have ever drunk that was not barrel aged.
Highly Recommended, but because of the age of this bottle beware of storage conditions.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. The color is black and is accompanied by a giant fluffy tan head.

The aroma has nice citrusy hops to go along with roasted barley and some anise.

The flavor has some nice chocolate to go with the bitter roasted malts. The hops are well integrated throughout, leaving a great balance.

The mouthfeel is great; this is very velvety. This is pretty light in body for a stout.

This has everything, hops, chocolate flavor, some anise, drinkability! The only thing it's missing is -bals. This is top notch!

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Photo of beer2day
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black pour with very dark mocha head, almost 2 fingers worth. Exceptional lace and crazy head retention. Very nice looking glass of beer.

Dark burnt caramel, deep roasted malt and coffee, rich fudge chocolate all combine for a sweet and tempting aroma. Citrus hops underneath give accentuate all of the other darker flavors.

Rich dark chocolate, espresso roast coffee, touch of caramel and a hint of vanilla combine for a very rich flavor. Very deep and complex. Good bitters in the finish with touches of dark chocolate and a hint of citrus - maybe even a hint of raspberry.

Creamy rich mouthfeel. Very substantial.

Truly an outstanding stout and my favorite of the 30th anniversary series.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a light brown head.

S: you can smell the alcohol behind the chocolate and coffee smells.

T: Very bitter but not from the hops, the bitterness comes from the grain. The chocolate and coffee are Very dominate.

M: Fills the mouth nicely. A little undercarbonated though.

O: Very good. Worth having.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml Corked and Caged Bottle

A: Pours with a lush foam head, and then continues with some beautiful lacing.

S: Bittersweet Chocolate, Roasted Coffee, and some Graham Cracker

T: Has a lot of roast character after almost two years, as well as still having some unsweetened cocoa flavors. It also has some raisin and coffee characters.

M: It has a rich, thick, and nice mouthfeel over the tongue. It has a really nice carbonation that helps release the rich smokey and bittersweet cocoa flavors.

O: Definitely holds up to time. All the rich bittersweet and smokey flavors come through. It also has some rich earthy and woody hoppiness that comes through still. This beer is still drinking very well, and I imagine it will drink well for years to come.

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Photo of beagle75
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
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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Photo of KAP1356
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 750 ml cork and caged bottle from the first release of this. Purchased and split at Smokin' Joe's in Pittsburgh. Poured the SJ glass...

A - Pours a rich, dark brown color. Almost opaque. A nice, creamy, frothy, tan head forms about 1 finger thick. The head slowly recedes to a cap of the same color.

S - VERY strong aroma of heavily roasted malts. Bittwesweet chocolate, brown sugar and some hops come out as well. There's a slight char present as well that I kind of like with the other aromas. Smells rich.

T - Sweet at first from the chocolate and toffee like qualities, but the huge roasted malt component takes over the flavor profile. Slight coffee flavor comes as well as does the slight char I noticed in the nose.

M - Medium bodied beer that borders on being heavy bodied. Moderate carbination provides a creamy texture.

O - I enjoyed this one. I'm glad I split it though. There was a LOT of malt in this one and at times it became a bit too much, but was still quite nice.

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Photo of bashiba
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep dark black with some nice ruby highlights and a very thick and sticky dark tan head. Looks perfect!

The smell is very nice dark roasted barley and deep smokeyness with some nice bitter chocolate.

The flavor is very good, nice depth of black malts here with notes of chocolate, smoke, molasses, anise, juniper, and even a touch of dark fruit. Just enough hops to keep the malt in check with some nice earthy bitterness. Very complex and tasty.

The mouthfeel is warm and thick, very chewy and a touch oily.

Great Stout, they should make this every year!

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Photo of mondegreen
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a Sierra Nevada XXX goblet.

Cork releases with a huge pop. Pours a deep black with a huge frothy head.

Nose is well balanced. Sweet roasted malts and a touch of fruit.

A moderate sweetness is met by dark bakers chocolate. Layers of dark fruit in the aftertaste.

Mouth is silky. Really nice.

Overall, my favorite of the XXX line. I'm glad I held into this one.

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Photo of harrymel
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled early 2010

A: beautiful dark brown ale with two fingers dark mocha foam which slowly dissipated to a sheet of the same and cobweb lace.
S: sweet dark, molasses and raisin. Nice hint of cocoa, and toasted brittle.
T: dry and almost bitter with soily overtones and some dry cocoa.
M: heavy with moderate carb and long finish.
O: great stuff. Wish I had more.

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Photo of bschinelli
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this in the cellar for quite sometime. Wow, worth the wait. First, served at 55degs, pours dark black with a thick, off white head. The head sticks around awhile. Smells of chocolate, roasting coffee pervade the aroma, and it tastes like it smells. Really good malt signature, while the hops balance any sweetness. Alcohol is present, but not omnipresent. Finishes with that roast flavor in the back of the throat.

Overall, a fantastic imperial stout.

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

Picked up a 750ml bottle from Total Wine in late April 2010 for $8.99. Been sitting on this in my wine cooler the last year and a half- can't wait!

Beer poured black as night with a nice mocha head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose was initially very strong of roasted malts.

Taste is very well balanced, dark cocoa, roasted malts, and a chockful of northwest hops to balance out the malt madness.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very smooth and satisfying.

Overall this beer has aged extremely well, one of the better Impy Stouts i have tried!

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Photo of ms11781
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. The cap blew off and hit the ceiling and wall with the slighest touch. Not sure of an exact bottling date on this. Cellared since release (March 2010?), so it has about 18 months on it.

Pours a solid black with a nice dark brown head of foam. The head retention is excellent. It starts at about a finger and recedes just a bit. It sticks to the sides of the glass with each sip.

Some dark and bitter chocolate notes are the first aromas that come from the nose. A strong roasted character is present as well. A smoky or charred note is here as well. A sweet characteristic comes through towards the end but it's very subtle.

All the same components that were in the nose are in the taste as well but some are stronger and others more subtle. There is a touch of sweetness up front, not huge, but it starts off sweet before a huge roasted malt character takes over. A hint of some dark chocolate is here as well before a surprisingly big bitterness takes over. The bitterness actually lingers on the tongue and dries it out.

Big mouthfeel but not huge. The body is full but the carbonation is a bit higher than expected. The higher carbonation prevents the beer from feeling as big as it could.
The finish is bitter and extremely dry for a stout.

This beer actually had a bit of alcohol in the nose and taste when I had it fresh but that seems to have mellowed considerably in the last year and a half. Though the alcohol mellowed it has revealed a hugely bitter characteristic that wasn't as prominent when fresh and at times it can be a bit too much. I'm not sure if this beer is past it's prime or would be better with a bit more time on it.

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Photo of koopa
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle poured into a Sam Adams Laser Etched Glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice deep mahogany with a 2 finger dark khaki crown that displays good retention and lace. Beer is a bit cloudy and murky.

Smell: Hops on this bottle are a bit faded and the malt is fairly pronounced but the two still intertwine nicely. Chocolate and toffee notes with a hint of roast behind them on the malt end. Hops are fairly floral.

Taste: Same as the nose. Very nice interplay of those elements. Do I detect a hint of peat perhaps?

Mouthfeel: Nice thick yet creamy mouthfeel with moderate to slightly low carbonation.

Overall: A very nice beer indeed. Goes down easy but has nuance.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a pitch black with a third of the glass filled with tan foam that just seemed to rest on top and had no plans of going anywhere.
S - Aroma is mainly bitter chocolate and a hint of brown sugar along with just a hint of hops.
T - nice roasted malt flavor along with a good amount of chocolate and a hint of bitterness in the finish
M - smooth and creamy with a good amount of carbonation, appropriate for the style. Medium bodied.
D - Very drinkable, its very smooth and nicely balanced.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a deep brown almost black color with a very impressive three finger head that leaves great lacing.

S- Bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar in the nose. A slight hop presence is noticeable along with a touch of yeast spices. Some roast as well.

T- Wood and smoke on the palate initially with a very smooth chocolate finish. The alcohol is there but not bothersome. Roasted and charred malt comes through as it warms.

M- Full bodied with fairly high carbonation considering the style.

O- Overall a very tasty stout. If I had to nitpick I would say to dial back the charred wood flavor a touch and expand on the sweet chocolate malt. Even still, very tasty.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle reviewed from notes. Had as the 5th installment of "A Beer Observed" with my boy, CP, back in July.

Pours an unsurprising deep black with a thin mocha head resting comfortably on top. The nose carries notes of charred wood, chocolate malts, and booze. The mouth is creamy and full. Very smooth finish. Deep alcohol flavors, with some wine-like character to it. Semi-bitter chocolate budges its way in. This is a slow-sipper, even after almost a year in the cellar. I liked the feel, but still could have used a little more to it. Rich beer.

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Photo of mountdew1
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Poured a nice dark coffee colored with a light brown bubbly head. Head went from 3 to 1 fingers pretty fast, but then lingered at that level. Little bit of lacing and cling, but nothing serious. Aroma was a mocha blend of coffee and chocolate, with a bit of brown sugar oatmeal. Flavor started as a creamy lactose, then shifted to a bit of milk chocolate, and then finished with a bit of bitter coffee. Felt great in the mouth, rich and creamy, plenty of body. The only downside was a bit of bitter acid that lingered on the tongue. Overall a great stout. Not as robust as I think they should be, but not overly bitter either.

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Photo of teetee523
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

C: Very dark, amber, small amount of head

A: Not very strong, some woody scent

T: Spicy and malty on the lips, dark wood flavors in mouth, noticeable alcoholic taste, slightly bitter finish.

M: Full bodied

O: Good beer, great balance of flavor and complex, roasted bite.

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Photo of curasowa
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black color with 1 finger of brown head that just sits there like frosting on a cake.

Aroma: Sweet, dark chocolate over more a coffee and roasted malt aroma. There's some earthy/woody stuff going on in there too.

Taste: Thick and creamy with a lot of molasses-like sweetness, but definitely some hop presence in there helping to cut the sweetness. Something happens before the finish, and it gets a little nutty and something else that I can't quite place, almost like some tartness. The finish has a dark chocolate chalkiness that is lingering but very mild.

The Rest: Rich and complex, a great sipper on a rainy fall evening. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 750 ml bottle in to a DFH snifter

A: SRM is dark brown/black. Head is tan, medium bubbles. Medium carbonation. medium/light lacing.

S: Medium roasted malts, hoppy notes, carmel undertone.

T: Roasted malts and carmel notes followed quickly by hops. Beer is still a little "hot", alcohol noticable.

M: Medium body. Alcohol content and hoppiness serve as a point of contrast to the slight roasted bitterness of the malt. Creamy mf from carbonation and malt.

O: A good beer now, should be excellent with some age. Never had a beer from SN that I did not like.

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30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 997 ratings.
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