30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
813 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Ghenna on 07-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
813
Reviews:
435
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
9.95%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
219
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 813 |  Reviews: 435
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 681 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
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

 930 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 601 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

 660 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 1,308 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are merely above average given the brewery, which I've yet to have anything great from. 10.20% ABV confirmed.

Served after a brief period of rest after removing it from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired intermittently with chow fun noodles (an odd choice, I know - but I'm hungry and all my money goes to beer, okay?)

A: Pours a two finger khaki colour head of lovely cream and thickness, and great retention considering the high ABV. Lacing is good. Body colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I'm rather impressed. Could this be the beer that changes my mind about Sierra Nevada?

Sm: Caramel, dark malts, cream, floral hop notes, and hints of roast. Some biscuity yeast. And biscuit malt, for that matter. No alcohol is detectable. Maltiness is dominant. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Cream up front, and a quite malty body - definitely nicely layered. Floral hops, hints of roast. Sure, some booziness - but it's well hidden for 10.2%. Some dark malts. Biscuit malt. No real yeasty notes, through. Caramel. Mild spice. It's a tasty little beer, actually. The balance is imperfect but it's a tasty brew. Some middling fruit notes - maybe a hint of fig. Quite the malt bomb, but in a good way. Very pleasant and enjoyable. I like it.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and creamy. Slight overcarbonation. Good thickness and presence. suits the flavours quite well.

Dr: I have to say, I expected worse given the brewery. Sure, it's boozy - but it's also a nice barleywine. I'm glad to have tried it - and while it isn't changing my mind about Sierra Nevada since it's a glorified collaboration, I do fancy it. I'll try to open my mind a bit more to Sierra Nevada, but I've yet to have a truly fantastic beer from them. This is worth a go for barleywine fans, but it's not incredible.

B

 2,096 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
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

 794 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
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!

 677 characters

Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black with no light coming through. There is a two finger tan head that leaves some lacing. Overall a good looking beer.

Smell: There is a roasty sweetness that hits the nose right away. I'm picking up a hint of some cocoa and caramel.

Taste: This one is sweet with a mild roast more in the background. As in the smell, there are hints of caramel and cocoa. There is a nice bitterness from the hops, and some warming alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thicker side of medium. The carbonation is delicate and goes well with the body.

Drinkability: While there is some alcohol, it isn't very dominant given the abv. The roasty and sweet flavors complement each other very well. I would be willing to have this one again.

 795 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 515 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 7/12/2010. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, citrus zest, light pine, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruitiness, and light-moderate hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, brown bread, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, citrus zest, light pine, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate earthy pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, brown bread, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, light pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, fruitiness, and light citrus/pine hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding dark barleywine style. All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, fruitiness, and light-moderate citrus/pine hops flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering, definitely aging well.

 1,679 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 565 characters

Photo of mothman
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Founders snifter

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Color is a copper brown. Good head retention with some splattered lace.

Aroma: Roasted malts with notes of chocolate, caramel, and toffee. I get some earthy, piney hopes with some grapefruit citrus. Fairly roasted and malty, but still pretty hoppy.

Taste: Roasted malts with much more citrus here. Grapefruit and orange citrus. Chocolate and caramel malt with a bit of toffee. Grassy and floral. Some dark dried fruits as well.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and bitter with some creaminess. Medium to full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky, yet roasted.

Overall it is an awesome take on the style. Kind of like the best of both worlds. The hop profile is well done which is important with these type of beers. It has a decent drinkability.

 814 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a ridiculously massive, four finger head of medium brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles slowly and leaves a thick curtain of lace on the walls of the glass.

S - A strong aroma of dark caramel malts with some fruity notes of plum and dark cherry. Subtle notes of bittersweet chocolate and rum in the background with a spicy hop character.

T - Dark caramel malt up front with notes of molasses and plums. Some cola notes sneak out in the middle with spicy, herbal hops that have a little bit of woody character. The grain darkens in the finish with more of a molasses sweetness and some bittersweet chocolate that works well with the fruity notes of plum and black cherry. Moderately strong hop bitterness helps to balance the sugary malt and there is some coffee like grainy bitterness to help as well. The flavor lingers long after the beer is gone, continuing to darken with notes of smoke, oak, chocolate, and cigar tobacco.

M - A fairly thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This is a huge beer, in a disconcertingly huge bottle. The malt character is intense and is transforms from an initially caramel influenced first impression to a very dark, chocolate and tobacco finish. The hops are strongly present, but they play a supporting role by balancing and intensifying the malt and never step out of line in a way that would make the beer less drinkable. The finish is really the aspect that separates the simply passable beers from the truly great brews with this style and it is where this one truly shines. It darkens significantly and develops notes of tobacco, smoke, and wood that are subtly distinct from those that would be found in a stout, but have the same level of long lasting, enjoyable complexity. This is a really great barleywine, and I am all the more impressed that it is so good without the years of aging that most barleywines of this strength and complexity demand.

 1,955 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.12 out of 5 based on 813 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe