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

997 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 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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Ratings: 997 |  Reviews: 663
Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fritz & Ken's is an outstanding beer that is both powerful and poinient with roast, malt, and hops. Simple in its design, yet complex in its strength and execution.

A deep, deep dark brown beer inches extremely close to opaque black. Truely viscous with a motor oil consistency. The beer carries a dense and mousse-like medium tan head that laces and retains as well as any beer can. The look of this beer rivals the best.

Deep aromas of roasted coffee, cocoa, and molassas are accompanied by softer malt notes and bold hop character. Comming from these guys, I guess a non-hoppy beer cannot be considered.

Flavors of the roast are very dominat- showing deep espresso flavors, burnt cocoa, and lighter elements of char and campfire. The roast is backed up by flavors of molassas and malted milk (think Whoppers candies). No fruits (maybe a background licorice note), but the estery mix is foregone by the aggressive impact of pine, citrus, and fresh cut grass derived from the deliberate hop additions. Hop flavor rivals but don't overwhelm the roast, but the bitterness from them give a complex balance to the sweet along side of the acrid roasted grains. The aggressive hop character seems to accentuate a phenolic character and lacquor taste burried deep in the beer but as the carbonation lessens, these flavors are much less noticable.

Definately as viscous as the appearance advertises as the initial sips are thick, chewy, and robust. But as the abundant carbonation subsides, the beer lessens in intensity and becomes quite drinkable for it's strength and aggressive taste. Hop bitterness and alcohol help to dry the beer considerably but the beer is to remain malty and roasty 'til the bitter end.

This is a fantastic beer. Memories of Bell's Batch 7000 come to mind. I'm having trouble deciding whether the hop flavor and bitterness help or hurt the drinkability of the beer. Aaah, the delimas of a Beer Advocate...

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Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Young Augustine's in Atlanta.

Pours black with a two-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of equal parts roasted malts and smooth dark chocolate. As it warms the nose sweetens just a bit and leans more toward the dark chocolate aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Somewhat muted roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of dark chocolate. Midway through the sip very mild amounts of anise enter into things before yielding to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this was yet another very good beer from SN - no surprise here. The flavors don't really pop well enough to be great however it's not far off at all. Well worth a shot.

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Photo of snpub540
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost black hue and there is no light getting through this one. Tan head is creamy during the pour and leaves very nice layers of lace the whole way down.

Smells are roasted malt goodness and some woody hops. Tiny hint of alcohol.

Taste is extremely rich and robust. I mean up front it is like a buttery bread flavor which is quickly turned into a roasty toasty flavor like coffee. The finish is dry and slightly woody. Extremely smooth in flavor and nothing is overwhelming anything else.

Mouthfeel is velvety and delicious. The texture left on the palate is absolutely amazing. Drinkability is good. Not alot of alcohol flavor, but some slight warmth in the finish. The alcohol has a creeping effect because it hit me after my second glass. Definately a nice brew.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Toronado SD

A: The pour is almost black in color with a fluffy tan head that leaves sheets of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: The nose is a bit one dimensional, really only giving off notes of coffee and roasted malt. There's a bit of bitter chocolate, but it is subdued.

T: I was pleased by the fact that the depth of flavors I was hoping for was there. A nice bit of roast and coffee flavor along with plenty of bitter chocolate, and some sweet caramel. There was also a slight smokiness to it which I didn't necessarily expect.

M: The body is medium with a creamy carbonation. There is a touch of alcohol warmth to it as well.

D: There is a touch of alcohol presence to the beer, but it really doesn't detract from the enjoyment. I really liked this beer and look forward to aging a couple bottles of it.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic stout! Poured dark brown/black from the bottle with a puffy, brown, long-lasting head. The smell is sweet, roasted, chocolate, and caramel. The taste and mouthfeel are both instantly remarkable and are exceptionally good. The mouthfeel is light and creamy--almost mousse-like. It certainly isn't thin, but it is so airy, that it isn't anywhere near as syrupy as many other double/imperial stouts. The carbonation isn't harsh, though; it's soft, like a nitro or a cask-conditioned ale. Lots of flavorful roasted malt, but not a hint of burnt barley. The taste has notes of wood/barrel, coffee, chocolate, and also STOUT. This beer tastes like a stout should taste. Stout, stout, stout. Stout is my favorite style, and this might well be the best stout I've ever had!

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

On tap at the Brawley event at the Visualite Theatre for Charlotte Beer week.
Appeared nearly black with a finger of dark cream head. Thick enough appearing and stuck to the glass a bit.

Aroma had nice roast and quite a bit of chocolate and caramel.

Taste followed suit, a very good balance of roast and sweeter accents. Roast malt, peat, licorice and very light coffee. Chocolate and some caramel acompany it.

Solid sticky body, but very drinkable. Had no problem putting down a pint of this at all. Much, much easier to drink than the Batch 9000 that was also available.

A solid example of a big double. In the SN tradition of being very balanced and under control. Really enjoyed this, glad I got to try it on draft.

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Photo of wchesak
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass

A - big pop from the cork produced huge tan head that sits on an almost black body, lots of lacing, great head retention

S - roast, chocolate, bitter hops, bit of smoke

T - big opening of roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, then a balance of earthy, piny hops

M - full bodied, very bubbly, not syrupy but beer definitely coats the inside of the mouth

D - hop forward take on imperial stouts, reminded me of Stone's Russian Imperial Stout, gonna give this a year to see how the hops and malt end up

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Photo of mattcrill
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Lots of roasty and chocolate notes up front. Earthy hop aromatics are very forward on this beer. A hint of warm prickly alcohol notes that creep up as the beer warms.

Appearance: Dark brown color with a sudsy, sticky tan head. Lots of lacing that cling to the glass.

Flavor: Roasted character up front. Also, big smokiness that is well-knit but prominent in the flavor profile. Earthy hop bitterness to balance. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A roasty, smoky American stout. Would do well with some age. Glad I have some to set aside. Worth a try.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

legends of brewing, unite! blackest night held within the glass. this beer walks in with a swagger manifest in the hips. it's coming to the party, and it's gonna try to f your girlfriend. strong roast and bitter chocolate, biting alcohol. it's not the most complex stout, but the contents mingle so well together. the coffee/chocolate/booze aftertaste is sensual and illustrious, but my feeling is, this beer needs a little time. hopefully that works out because, as of now, it's a bit overcarbed..good luck to its aging..

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Photo of nlmartin
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was kind of put off by an Imperial Stout from Sierra. I guess I was expecting a nicely kicked up DIPA. After opening this beer I am glad they brewed a Imperial Stout. I am glad I gave this Imperial Stout a go. The beer was served in an Imperial Pint glass. The beer was chilled and allowed to warm up towards room temperature.

Appearance: The body of the beer is black. No opaqueness is noted to light. The head was a thick light brown coloration. Great head retention. My glass was coated like it was pancake batter. In short this beer looks delicious.

Smell: The aroma of the beer consist of darkly roasted, toasted and charred malt. Cocoa and caramel play along with a pleasant earthy smokey aroma. A bit of citrus hops peak in and out of the nose.

Taste: This was what I was really craving! Dark roasted, toasted and nearly burnt malt are layered through the flavor. Smokey cocoa combines well with pine cone and citrus notes. Very nicely done!... This nearly rates a 5 to my taste. I think if the beer was a little thicker it would have kicked it up to the next level.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is almost full bodied. The carbonation is low and works out well. The body is very slick. I wanted a bit more thickness on the body but this is really really good!... Its nearing a 10% beer and no alcohol is peaking out at me. This is a very drinkable beer for me. I could have easily polished off a second bottle and been ready for a third. This is a very good no bullshit Imperial Stout. A very worthy 30th anniversary beer!

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

A-Pours almost black, with a massive, creamy mocha head that lasts FOREVER and leaves nice lacing. This is a great looking beer.

S-Dark roasted malts are predominant with coffee and chocolate notes, a bit of black licorice and a pleasant hoppy aroma.

T-A smoky, charred malt taste leads with a middle of coffee, a bit of chocolate and molasses and a bitter citrus hop kick in the finish.

M-Exceptionally creamy with a higher than expected carb level, but it works for this beer. Even with the carb level elevated a bit for the style, it is still viscous, slick and oily. Great mouthfeel.

D-For such a big beer, its surprisingly drinkable. Ok, its from SN so, drinkability isn't surprising at all.

Another great job from SN. Well done Fritz, Ken, and the rest of the gang.

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Photo of ugaterrapin
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a deep black. I may have poured it a little too vigorously because there was a massive dense tan head. The smell was great. It had a nice roasted malt presence with coffee notes and small hints of chocolate. In the taste the roasted and coffee flavor were the highlights. I didn't taste too much chocolate though. The end of the taste had a nice hop presence that balanced everything perfectly. The alcohol was masked extremely well. It probably had one of the smoothest finishes of any imperial stouts I have had. Overall and excellent beer. I had high expectations for this one and it didn't disappoint. I didn't feel so bad spending $10 on the bottle after I finally tasted it.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale is roasty, chocolaty, and aggressive for a stout.

There was a glorious "pop" with removal of the cork, and the ale poured black with a short-lived creamy dark tan head that clung to the brandy snifter. The smell and flavor were burnt and roasted dark chocolate. The feel was bitter and aggressive, with a dry finish and without the creaminess of other stouts. The high ABV made this a warming sipper.

SN's 30th Anniversary Ale is a perfect commemoration of a significant occasion for a great brewery. It's delicious, bitter, and unforgettable.

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

Pours black with some brown edging. Big robust deep brown head. Gorgeous looking beer.

Smells [KIND OF REMINDS ME OF THE ABYSS] earthy, with charred, bitter dirt, malt, and hops, along with a touch of roasted chocolate nose on the nose.

Taste is predominantly burnt cocoa, burnt earth, burnt ash, burnt roasted malt, and a splash of molasses to liven things up.

Great mouthfeel. Smooth, creamy, viscous. Could be a bit thicker, but still very good.

Kind of reminds me of a cross between a souped up version of their "normal" stout and the Abyss.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours a very oil looking dark black color with just the minimal/slightest amount of distant light shining through(in the pour). When glass fills, any chance of light is a memory of the past. Black as night color in the glass with a GIGANTIC creamy and frothy light brown head, about 3 to 4 fingers worth. Had the appearance of a nitro-can stout pour as the head was building! Overall though, the head is huge and lasts forever! It dissapates extrememly slow, and this was all with a modest to careful pour. The lacing is also mentionable, as you would expect with the appearance it presents. Wonderfully thick sticky lacing all over the glass that lasts a long time!

Aroma is nice, but nothing too over the top. Some slight maltiness, very faint bitterness, sweet chocolate notes, and a tad coffee too.

Flavor, started at just a tad above fridge temp...is good, but not great. I'm a little let down. I thought there'd be more sweetness in this stout. Overall it's still VERY good though. A lot of coffee notes, hints of chocolate...especially in the aftertaste. Some bitterness in the mid-wave of this flavor. High carbonation, perhaps just a smidge too high. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium body. As the beer warms, there's a tad more chocolate coming out and a slightly fuller body. Feels quite thicker, I guess because the carbonation is calming down. All in all, a very good beer from this collarboation of Sierra Nevada and Anchor.

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

750ml bottle into a tulip. The body is pitch black with three fingers of thick tan froth. The head settles slowly to a half-inch cap, which remains solid for at least half an hour. This is an unusually beautiful imperial stout, and the bottle deserves note as well, corked and caged with a simple but elegant label.

The aroma is rife with rich chocolate malt, roasted grain and black licorice. Hints of spicy, savory woodsmoke, citrusy hops and alcohol are noticeable on a lower level.

Chocolate malt is strong on the palate, along with nougat, leafy hops, toasted nuts and a bit of smoke. Roast and licorice present themselves near the finish, lending a beautiful balance to the initial richness. The thick, chewy texture is offset by an upper-moderate level of carbonation. This is a remarkably balanced beer, a no-nonsense example of the style with plenty of finesse and no gimmicks. High recommendations.

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Photo of SRossman
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Jet black but not completely opaque. The stream from bottle to glass shows a dark ruby liquid but once it accumulates in the glass it is totally black. A nice mocha colored head builds on top but dissipates after just a minute or so. Minimal lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Some nice roasted malt aromas pop up that mingle well with accents of coffee, molasses and cocoa.

Taste: The first thing I detect is a distinct smokiness, not just roasted but charred malt flavors. Also coming into play here is a fairly strong coffee presence.

MF/D: The mouthfeel is really nice if not just a bit thin. There's soft carbonation that helps give the body a slight substantiality. Not quite the heaviest Imperial Stout out there but certainly not the lightest either. The alcohol is well masked, making this one highly drinkable. Drinks like it's closer to 7%, not over 9%.

This is a tasty one. A nice departure from the huge barrel aged alcohol bombs that seem to be flooding beer shelves these days.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large dense tan head that has some fantastic retention.

Scent of roasted malts, caramel, smoke, maple cured bacon, earth, sugar, and a bit of oak. A feast of a scent; not perfect, but it has a great character.

Taste of dry spicy oak, smoke, maple cured bacon, spicy hops, sugars, earth, a hint of cinnamon and some tobacco. A wealth of flavors blending marvelously makes this one tasty Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied, thick and oily, very good.

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Photo of drpimento
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle courtesy of Paul B, mucho thankso Paulo. Poured with a nice fine foamy frothy thick tan head and good lace. Color is an opaque brownish black. Aroma is a volatile mix of dark ripe fruit, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa. Flavor is like that but much bigger. Sweet bitter in the end with some of the roastiness. Full body and great carbonation. Long finish with some booze. Bit rich for a session.

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Photo of BeanBone
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: An inky black body capped by about three fingers of dense caramel-colored head that fades slowly and leaves brilliant lacing. Truly a thing of beauty.

Aroma: A rich and chocolaty roasted malt body accompanied by mild citrusy hops. As it warms, alcohol emerges as a third element.

Flavor: At first it's all bold and deeply roasted malt with notes of dark fruit, espresso, and dark chocolate. Accompanying the malt are earthy, citrusy, and mildly bitter hops. There's a rich alcohol component throughout that compliments everything and adds great depth. It's all well-crafted and nicely balanced, just as you'd expect coming from these guys. Roasty malt, bitterness, and dry alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with smooth carbonation and a dry finish. Slick alcohol warms the mouth throughout.

Drinkability: While it drinks a little faster than a full-blown sipper, this is still a beer that works best when you invest a little time.

Verdict: Fritz and Ken's Ale is an expertly crafted treat. Bold and full of flavor, yet balanced and restrained, it's just as good as I had hoped. I'm looking forward to seeing both how the other beers in this series turn out and how this one will age.

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Photo of k3n
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked/caged bottle, poured into my Bruery tulip.

This is a fine looking beer. The first pour produced a pillowly blanket of finely packed bubbles an inch thick. Beautiful. Over time the bubbles die down to about a 1/4" but resurface with swirling. The beer itself is a deep, impenetrable brown that lightens a bit at the edges.

The smell is all roasted malts. The taste is again roasted malts with an undertone of unsweetened chocolate and coffee. A pleasant drying bitterness is the finish. Mouthfeel is nice, with plenty of body, and also plenty of carbonation to keep it from getting to heavy.

Sierra Nevada knocks another one out of the park.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this on-tap at the Mad Mex up in University City here in Philly. Was served in a standard pint glass. A very dark black looking beer with a brownish head on it. Smelled mostly of dark roasted malts hence the color. Tasted like an imperial stout with flavors of roast, coffee, caramel & chocolate. I couldn't pickup the hops but could tell there was enough of a balance where this beer wasn't too overly sweet or bitter. Nice carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Reminded me of Ten Fidy, but I think that one has this selection beat. Overall, a nice beer. Wasn't what I was expecting out of this release, but good indeed.

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Photo of dwilson01
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into an indian wells brewing pint glass.

One of the most majestic looking beers I've ever had, the initial head poured almost a full 2 inches of brown creamy foam, dense as hell, and left awesome lacing on the glass.

Very subtle and mellow scent on this one, definite maltiness, sweetness, and some nutty cocoa in there as well. It's not intense though, not really roasted or smoky.

The taste is awesome, this beer is straight up creamy chocolate that is smooth as hell. Barely any hops which makes it an uncharacteristic sierra nevada beer but seriously, this beer is amazing tasting, tough not to down it at 9.2 abv there is no alcohol in the flavor at all, it's delicious, dessert, malty, sweet, chocolate, a bit of coffee, and a tiny tiny bit nutty.

The mouthfeel cannot be beat, this is quite possibly THE smoothest beer I have ever consumed. Feels creamy as hell in the mouth and just begs to be swallowed you seriously cannot go wrong with this guy.

Continuing on from the mouthfeel, drinkability should be a no brainer, and of course, the easy to drink nature of this brew coupled with the sweet sweet malty taste make it dangerous for one man to consume alone!

Overall, great beer, I kid you not...buy 2, age one and drink one. That's what I got goin right now.

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Photo of adamette
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada XXX

Live review. Poured from the 1 pint, 9.4 ounce dark brown bottle that I bought for $9.99 at Heinen's in Gates Mills this past Tuesday into my Brewery Ommegang Westvleteren style goblet. Absolutely beautfiul label with an golden imbossed, raised "SIERRA" over top of a background "XXX" and a just great looking, large main image.

A Absolutely great looking medium brown head over an absolutely black body that lets no light through. The head took about 4 minutes to reduce down to a centimeter. I was too impatient to wait for it to go all of the way down. 4.5

S Dark roast malt for sure but a somewhat unwelcome, strong peppery, dark fruit smell with a rather obvious sting of alcohol. I let the beer warm for a while to see if the characteristics might change but these descriptions did not change significantly. 2.0

T Dark roast malt that has an almost "burnt" quality about it. The smell that I described above did not carry over into the taste with some of the negative aspects that I picked up. Instead was the "burnt" nature of the dark roast malt and a nice dark syrupy sweetness, akin to a dark molasses. This is a big, mature tasting beer, very appropriate to the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of Sierra Nevada. 4.5

M Silky smooth head and a nice sticky syrupy feel along with a bigness derived from the dark roast malt make the feel of this beer very good indeed. There is really a lot going on with the feel. I find it interesting, challenging. 5.0

D Fair to good since it is such a big beer with an aggressive ABV too. 3.5

Notes: A suitable tribute to Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary from the brewmasters there as well and Fritz from Anchor Brewing Company. The smell that was initially off putting was made up for in a significant way by the taste and feel.

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Photo of Spider889
3.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For me this is a beer that did not entirely live up to my expectations, however that does not mean it is a bad beer in any respect.

The beer comes in the lovely bottle you see the picture. It opens like a bottle of champagne and smells of richly roasted malts. It poured black as coffee with a thick toffee colored head.

The taste was very good, but where I was hoping for more. I detected alcohol at the forefront of the flavor and on the finish. In between it is very malty, roasted, and earthy. I suppose I was expecting a little more sweetness for the high abv. It was also very bitter, a characteristic of the Sierra Nevada influence I suppose.

The glass held very thick and beautiful lacing. The drinkability suffered due to the high prevalence of the alcohol.

I drank this bottle on 3/25/10 in the same month the beer was released. I will likely save my second bottle for aging; the bottle and Sierra Nevada website have suggested that this beer is perfect for aging.

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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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