Fritz and Ken’s 30th Anniversary AleJuly 1, 2010 Chico, CA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
This strong stout is an homage to the black ales that enamored Fritz Maytag and Ken Grossman during the early days. It is the first in a series of collaborative brews created by five craft beer pioneers that will appear during 2010 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Sierra Nevada.
Original gravity: 1093
No four letter words here, just a three letter one: Wow! A beer worthy of the occasion. Deep, dark and decadent, with black-strap molasses, burn raisin, licorice root, fig cake, espresso, dark chocolate and cigar ash. A bit aggressive now (reminds me of a young First Growth Bordeaux from a great vintage), but already a powerhouse of flavors and will become more impressive with proper aging.
- John Hansell
Somehow I knew from the mere act of pouring it that this would be a substantial ale, and that it certainly is! Impenetrably black with a thick collar of tan foam, it boasts an aroma that’s more akin to a meal than a beer, with almost meaty notes of roasted chicory, dark chocolate, five spice powder and smoky licorice. The texture is among the most viscous I have yet come across in an ale, delivering a borderline chewy mix of burnt toffee, espresso, rich mocha, cooked apple and even a hint of the barbecued banana my dad used to cook on the backyard hibachi, all ending is a roasty, soothing finish. Simply an outstanding stout, as one might expect of a pair of modern brewing icons.
- Stephen Beaumont
John Hansell writes about beer, wine and spirits. He is the creator, publisher and editor of Malt Advocate, a magazine for the whisky enthusiast.
Once described as “beerdom's Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the author of five books and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, travel, and how it all goes together.