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

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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:
812
Reviews:
435
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
9.95%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
219
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 812 |  Reviews: 435
Photo of ChanChan
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Snifter
Head is thick!!! This beer pours more like an imperial stout than a Barley-Wine.
Smell: This Brew smells like your average Barley Wine, its smells delicious but nothing out of the ordinary!
Color: Nice dark amber, not stout dark but more like a mix between a light porter and a dark ale.
Smell: Nothing special this is your typical Barley-Wine smell, nevertheless, many will agree that barley-style wine has some of the most consistent and enjoyable aromas available!!
This brew begins with an unequivocally barely-wine style taste. It finishes very boozy but with a nice warn feeling in the gut!!
I finished this beer in well under one hr. So far this is my favorite Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary brew. The stout was too dry and I think the Bock was nothing special.

Cheers!!

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Photo of bum732
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Rich toffee, slight ester fruitiness, slight chocolate, light mint, leafy. Hints of vanilla and bourbon.

L: Pours a dark brown, light tan head, decent retention, great lacing.

T: Rich deep toffee flavor followed by an earthy hop flavor. Medium high earthy bitterness leads to roasty chocolate with a touch of oak. Alcohol present, slightly hot.

M: Smooth creamy mouthfeel, full bodied. Alcohol warming.

A really nice dark barleywine, very rich with enough bitterness to keep in check. I would expect nothing less from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of curtiswvu
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark mahogany with a deep brown light around the edge. Thick brown head with tight bubles that leaves ;ight lacing circles behind.

Smell: Coffe grounds, chocolate, light pine, leather and a touch of oak.

Taste: What a barleywine. WOW, I am just set back by this beer, I never knew Barelywine could rival a great imperial stout. This beer is so smooth but full of hops and chocolate with a real coffee after taste. The carbination is high but it really works well in the beer. Alcohol becomes more noticable as it warm to almost a light irish whiskey finish. Amazing stuff.

Feel: Smooth with a godo amount of carbination. Hides the alcohol heat well. Medium to thick body.

Drinkability: This is a smooth as an off the shelf barley wine will ever be and just a couple steps away from a Guinness/Dragons Milk smoothness. One bottle is plenty for me and I'm a big boy.

Once I can drive again tomorrow (I feel tosty after one bottle of this) I am buying a couple cases, one for the cellar and one for the upstairs fridge. This is a true achievement, really brings me back 10 years to when I first discovered Sierra and craft beer. Welcome back old friend, you've never looked better.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of jjanega08
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A= The cork popped off with a lot more umph that I expected from a barleywine. The pour is black as night with a really really tall mocha colored head on it rising to about three fingers high and holding some really steady retention. Great lacing.

S= Hops and roast. The hops are a little subdued to the intense roast aspect of this beer and there is definite alcohol floating around in there. Nice chocolate and just a real solid roast meld with some piney hops.

T= The taste on this beer is glorious. It really isn't too heavy in either direction and the alcohol in the nose is completely gone in the taste. Great balance on it with the focus just being on deliciousness and not hops or "dark" flavors.

M= Perfect. Absoloutley silk smooth. I was a little worried about the carbonation level but we are fine.

D= This is the first wow beer I've had in a while. It's really got a lot of great stuff going for it. Truely a craft beer lovers dream beer.

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Photo of bsp77
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark mahogany (looks black if not back-lit) with very thick brown head that leaves lacing circles behind.

Smell: Citrus and pine upfront, with deep roasted barley, coffee, caramel and alcohol underneath.

Taste: Smooth roasted barley with an emphasis on coffee and chocolate. Toffee notes underneath supply the expected Barleywine touch. Nice counterbalance of citrus and pine that carries through the finish, but the bitterness remains restrained.

Feel: Ultra smooth and thick with a dry warming finish. This really is about as smooth as a beer gets.

Drinkability: This is a smooth and fantastic beer, and I was unable to stop drinking the 750ml bottle despite my initial plan of drinking it over two days.

Besides the touch of toffee, I am not really sure this is a Barleywine, as it resides in that limbo land of Imperial Stout, Barleywine and Double Black IPA. Other beers with a similar profile would say Imperial Stout, while others go the Black IPA route. Whatever the style is, I like it, but hope that not too many more brewers attempt it, as this should stay a limited, niche "style".

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beer Revolution.

A: Pours a black body with a 2-finger cap of off-beige head. Good retention, but it doesn't leave any lace down the glass (nor do I really expect it to).

S: Kind of a muted aroma for me, but maybe it was too cold, or the breeze outdoors was distracting. Regardless, all I could pick up was a touch of citrus hops and roasted coffee. I'll try it again sometime.

T: Interesting flavor. It has a roasty, slightly charred malt flavor that adds an interesting depth to traditional barleywines. Caramel and toffee are found, and the "American" portion of this style lends a bitter citrus hop flavor to the taste. Dark fruits, a touch of spice. Honestly, I'm impressed by the range. If I hadn't been in a non-beer geek group, I would have let this warm up even more and taken some real notes.

M: Medium-full bodied. Carbonation isn't low enough to be creamy, but it's not high enough to damage the flavor. It's good. The finish isn't dry, but it's drying.

D: My girlfriend got this and complained it was "too hoppy," then she ordered a second glass. She was drunk and belligerent by the evening. Thanks Jack and Ken.

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

750mL bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a few shades away from black with a creamy, chunky beige head. Spider web lacing as the head fell to a thin layer of foam.

Large amounts of roast in the nose. Bitter chocolate, coffee grounds and a touch of char. The hops come in underneath, fresh pine needles and oranges. A unique but inviting aroma for a barleywine.

Char leads the way with large dose of bitter chocolate quickly in tow. Loads of flavors here. Molasses, anise, toffee and subtle hints of dark fruit. Surprisingly sweet considering the amount of roast. Underneath lies a bed of citrus and pine and is just the right amount bitter.

Medium to full bodied with a good level of carbonation. Lightly chewy, but not in a bad way.

I really enjoyed this guy. Not the best barleywine ever, but definitely unique and memorable.

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Photo of HopNuggets
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 750mL corked and caged into snifter. Large pop when the cork was taken out followed by some nice smoking.

A - Deep black letting no light through with a large fluffy khaki head. Head was easily 3 fingers that dissipated after the 1st sip to a solid 1/2 finger head that lingered nicely. The head doesn't leave much for lacing, a bit spotty but nothing to write about, but after the sip the head slowly works its way back down the glass into place.

S - It smells spicy and boozy. Caramel malt is present

T - Taste is right on for a barley wine. Malty and caramel up front followed by a slight hop bitterness and then the heat hits you from the alcohol and lingers long after the sip. Not too much burn but it is there.

M - Very nice. Slightly more carbonated than a barleywine traditionally is and a bit lighter body on the palate.

D - Very drinkable with the lighter body but you can definitely tell the alcohol level is up there and there's no hiding that. I'm looking forward to seeing how this one ages.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Brass Rail on Thursday Sept 23rd -served in a snifter.

A - Appearance is an opaque slate color, not quite black w/ a light beige cap which is comprised of tiny beads.There is visible carbonation in the ale and the lace clings well

S - Smell is toffee-like and mildly lactic with some roasted grain presence. A slight buttery odor with gentle fruity scent and mild caramel malt aroma, The nose has light cocoa w/ subtle alcohol and hop notes. A nice accent of spice and an anise tinge are there to add complexity

M - The feel is full and moderately carbonated with moderate bitterness up front as well with gentle sweetness and light toasted feel with semi-dry finish

T - The flavor has plenty of malt with lots of grain flavor and mild licorice and roasted notes w/ slight sweet caramel and dark fruit notes. The ale has gentle pepper and hint of cococa taste w/ mild stone fruit elements and gentle spice: there is a mild orange rind note from the hops and light vanilla quality too. A moderate amount of hop flavor and subtle overall especially for an American barleywine but nice toffee -like flavor and mild alcohol throughout

D - This is a delicious beer and how they achieved such grace in a glass is beyond me - very mild alcohol so the 10% is hidden and I could probably handle a few if it weren't for the strength. A totally unique barleywine to me it actually makes me more of a fan of the style. - Another great 30th anniversary brew from Sierra Nevada

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Photo of russwbeck
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a large beige head, that dissipates quickly.

S: Chocolate, malts, and coffee up front, some hops underneath.

T: Starting with thick chocolate and coffee, everything takes a backseat to the hopiness that follows and a distinct dry finish.

MF: Thick and creamy, moderate carbonation. Overall feels very good.

D: Very high ABV and very thick drink, I was fine drinking one bottle and nothing more.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 08/27/2010:

25.4 oz. poured at 45* into a snifter. It is super fresh as evident by the hundred-mile-an-hour cork.

A: It pours a velvety black with a thick, two finger tan head. All is terrific so far.

S: It consists of barley, coffee, sweet dark fruits, and chocolate.

T: Fantastic! Figs, plums, coffe, a little chocolate, biscuit, and a fair share of alcohol to taste.

M: It is thick, syrupy, and somewhat chewy. The taste lingers for a while.

D: It is a bit of a chore to down the whole bottle.

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Photo of Zundo
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark black with some dark cherry. A thick two-finger head that holds well with a strong lace.

Smell: A definitive sweet cherry malt with caramel, toasty creamy hints.

Taste: A semi tart, semi-sweet chocolate flavor, toasted, citrus hops, coffee and cherry with a slightly woody taste, possibly hickory (a good thing).

Mouthfeel: Very heavy body, that oddly does not feel overly heavy do to the very smooth and creamy texture. Almost milky. Alcohol is present, though not potent and lacking bite. Instead the alcohol almost has a smokey quality.

Drinkability: For how heavy this is it is very smooth. Is almost airy yet heavy as the it hit the front of the palate heavy but not the back end of the palate.

I really am enjoying this thoroughly.

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

25.4 ounce bottle poured into a large tulip glass. This is a dark black color with a solid two inches of head. Smell is sweet and crisp with some hints of honey and citrusy hops. Taste is a very balanced blend of molasses-like sweet malt flavors and and crisp piney hops. Alcohol is present, but blends in pretty well. Medium-to-heavy bodied and decent drinkability. Pretty solid.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 10 oz. pour in a pilsner at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Black with a hint of brown and opaque. Creamy head and plenty of lace. Good head retention. I don't get much out of the aroma, very muted. Medium carbonation up front, I'd like it softer, but consistent for the style. Subtle cherry fruitiness in the middle with some hoppy bitterness. Some of the alcohol comes out in the back end, but hidden very well. Bittersweet chocolate after the finish. Heavy mouthfeel.

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Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Judge's Bench the other day.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The aroma profile is pretty nice in this one, showcasing sweet cherry, considerable sweet malt and some underlying brown sugar. The flavor profile is pretty complex in this sweet beer, with dark fruits, chocolate, vanilla and something of a fruitcake flavor. Although pretty sweet, it's apparent that the brewer added a considerable dash of hops in this one, which leads to dry, slightly bitter finish. There's also a bit of alcoholic heat in the finish, something that I'm guessing will subside with some short term (or long term) aging. Otherwise, mouthfeel is full bodied, with a fairly long finish. Drinkability isn't too bad, though the noticeably high abv. is a bit much. Hard to imagine having more than one small glass of this BW at this point.

All in all, I thought this a well made BW, and I'm guessing that 6 to 12 months of aging would smooth out some of the current rough edges. Hopefully I'll get to see...

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Photo of DaveHS
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours pitch black with mahogany highlights. The inch or so of beige head fades slowly, leaving attractive rings of sticky lacing.

S- The first whiff reveals deep aromas of roasted malt and piney, resinous hops. Underneath are light notes of candi sugar and caramel.

T- The first flavor that hits your tongue is aggressive roasty malts, reminiscent of a campfire. These fade into something similar to burnt toast. Then you get a wonderful line-up of complementary flavors, some herbaceous, some sweet, some bitter. The well-balanced Cascade hoppiness provides a base for notes of caramel, black licorice, dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses and raisins.

M-Thick and rich, with a barely perceptible booziness on the back end. Slightly cloying fresh, but this one is sure to age well.

D-High.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up last week for $10.99 at Beverage King in West Lebanon NH. 750mL bottle, caged and corked, served cold in a chilled tulip.

Pitch black brew gives a massive stable cake of tan foam, 4" tall, no sign of receding. Nose is fairly sweet, creamy, soft mixed citrus and pine hop, warm tropicals, vanilla, and a boozy warmth that's very appealing and does not seem out of place. Taste is all of the above, but mostly creamy citrus, vanilla, warm booze, light but fairly intense sugar syrup and honey sweetness. I think it's the combination of citrus and vanilla that I interpret as tropical. Feel is thick and smooth, fairly sweet but not quite cloying, appropriate carbonation made smooth by the viscosity. Finish is some lingering hop, roasted malt, spicy booze.

Very tasty and rounded, well-crafted. Best of the 30th anniversary series. Just a few things hold it back from perfection. Most notably, the sweetness is a little too much and/or could use more depth, it is pretty thin like simple sugar.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked 750, ten bucks or so. Interestingly, the label says black barleywine, but the SN website shows a different label that just says barleywine.

Appearance: Well, this is in fact a black colored barleywine. Yeah, black, with just the slightest bit of red around the edges when held to the light. Light brown head, nice and thick with pretty excellent retention. A sheet of foam with each sip that turns into sticky, streaky lace.

Smell: Sweet caramelly and a little roasty malt and quite a bit of citrusy, pine hops. Overall, its still like a barleywine, with the dark malts just adding a little coffee/ chocolate, but no heavy, burnt, or smoky roast smell.

Taste: Really great caramel and toffeelike malt sweetness. The slightly bitter roastiness is again coffee and chocolate, which along with the significant hoppiness really balances this nicely. The finish is delicious, sweet and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: I've had bigger, chewier, and stickier barleywines, which I really like, but this is smooth, and a little slick feeling, and leaves some hops resin on the tongue.

Drinkability: I'm really pleased with this beer. Big, malty, hoppy, and roasty without any part becoming overbearing.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the taphouse. Black BW pours, well, black, although with plenty of brown to it. A rusty black lets say. Great mix of burnt malt and hops in the aroma. Think black ipa here.

Taste, its big, but hoppy and sweet. Slight amount of coffee comes across with the aforementioned roasted malts. It is crisp, doesn't weigh heavy despite the abv. The dryness to this is amazing. I dunno how to classify this, something like 1 part Bigfoot, 1 part Hop in the Dark and something else with the slightest twinge of coffee. You don't get quite the hop crush of fresh Bigfoot, this stuff tastes like they aged it a bit before release, unlike the standard Bigfoot. I plan on laying a bottle down, just to see what happens. Its damn good right now.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11 ounce goblet - $7.00 at The Fred in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a near black body underneath an inch-high layer of chunky-looking, beige foam.

Smell: Distinctly roasty black malt nose with notes of bitter chocolate, burnt toast, and ground coffee. The hops are second to the malts in the nose, but still generates scents of fresh pine and citrus.

Taste: Leading charred barley flavors of roasty coffee, molasses, crushed aniseed, and openly bitter chocolate with some lighter tastes of toast and toffee trailing behind. Faint dark fruitiness underneath all this roast. Moderately sweet, though it's curtailed by a solid charge of Cascade hops bringing resinous pine and citrus peel hop character as well as hearty bitterness. Slight acidity. As one might expect, the finish is roasty, bitter, and fairly warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Decently chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: What say I?? Aye or Nye?! I'll go with AYE. A tad unorthodox, sure, unless we're concocting Black DIPA's now, but it's pretty good for a full eleven ounce goblet's worth. I'll hold off for some time before cracking the bottle I picked up.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into snifter. Split with friends.

A: Pours a very dark reddish-brown that looks black in the glass with about a finger of dense dark brown head that slowly receded into a thick film that left a few spots of soapy lace down the glass.
S: Notes of creamy melted chocolate ice-cream, coco nibs, dark roasted malts, and a touch of alcohol.
T: Powerful full flavors. Tastes similar to the smell with a roasted and lightly bitter dark chocolate aftertaste. Pine resin emerges as the beer warms and in the finish. Caramel all the way through.
M: Full bodied with a chewy mouthfeel and a warming finish. Alcohol is comfortable.
D: A very dark and stout-like barleywine. I could definitely see this one ageing well. Another great offering worthy of SN's 30th anniversary.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark black to brown with beautiful thick bellowing huge head, small bubbles sit on side of the glass, great vibrant look off the pour

Smell- very great hop smell with good amount of caramel and candy malts, very delicious enticing nose,

Taste- a very interesting mix of hops and malts, really continuously battle each other across your palate, you get bitterness and dryness from hops and malty sweetness with chocolate and raisins, very good balance and easy to enjoy each sip, great balance

Mouthfeel- surprisingly light and actually quite smooth and lightly carbonated,

Drinkability- very dangerous as the alcohol is perfectly blended in to a beer of superb balance and great drinkablility, very enjoyable beer that would interesting to check back in on with some time, but very tasty to me

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Photo of emmasdad
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice black color, with a medium amount of light brown head. Aromas of cascade hops, coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt. On the palate, this one had a nice mouthfeel, smooth and creamy, with more chocolate, coffee and little bit of citrus. This was the first one I tried in the 30th anniversary series, and it was nice.

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Photo of bridgetowhophead
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Apex, Portland OR. Heard good things about the 30th anniversary series; this was my first taste. Unfortunately this one is still too young to really demonstrate its real quality.

A: Presented in a 12 oz. tulip. Beautiful burnt brown, verging on black but allowing a little light to pass through on the edges. 1/4 inch head shows remarkable retention and lacing for the 10+% ABV.

S: Mostly rich roasted malts, a little hop spice in the background.

T: Unfortunately, the alcohol heat really comes in and dampens much of the rich chocolate malt and spicy hop flavors. I love the taste of this beer, but it really needs some age. I've heard that this is the case for their other 2 beers so far, the stout being the only one that is currently drinking really well.

M: Nice thick body, smooth finish, a little cloying sweetness but to be expected from a barleywine.

D: I found myself really taking my time due to the slightly off-putting alcohol presence. This is one to cellar for a good while, especially since the hops won't really be missed when they inevitably fade.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from those nice 750ml bottles.

A - Nice solid pop from the cork and caged bottle. Pours an amazing dark dark brown almost pitch black with some slight ruby hints. There is an enormous 1.5 inch head that is very dense. Tiny tiny bubbles are everywhere with some slight medium sized ones sprinkled around. The recedes ever so slowly and leaves some nice sticky lace on the glass. Great look. I have to say the head retention is ridiculous on this beer.

S - Sweet malt up front with some nice pine aromas mixed in. Nice hop resin is present. Nice grain backbone with some toasty and roasted hints. There are some nut aromas as well mixed in with some dark fruits. Slight cherry and some figs.

T & M - Quite interesting for a American Barleywine. Starts with some nice roasty and sweet malt flavors. There are some nut flavors mixed in with the malt and nice dark fruit flavors. Some cherry and raisins and some figs as well. This sweetness is then well balanced by some nice grassy hop character. There is some nice citrus notes and pineapple hints that accompany the hops and balance out the malty backbone. The hop character isnt as intense as other barleywines and its definitely no where near SN's Bigfoot. Seems to be a much more balanced and equally delicious Barleywine. Nice full body with some great crisp carbonation and a nice complex set of flavors. The alcohol is there and gives some nice warmth but its not too overwhelming.

D - Very delicious. My favorite of the 30's so far. ABV on the high side but flavors are great and not too overwhelming.

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30th Anniversary - Jack & Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.12 out of 5 based on 812 ratings.
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