Fritz & Ken’s Ale (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)

Fritz & Ken’s Ale is a collaboration between Frizt Maytag from Anchor Brewing and Ken Grossman from Sierra Nevada brewed to celebrate SN’s 30th anniversary.  This imperial stout has a 9.2% ABV.

Fritz Maytag, owner of San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company, is regarded as the godfather of the craft brewing movement. Fritz agreed to guest brew this very special ale with us in honor of our 30th anniversary.  As a nod to the robust black ales that seduced both Fritz and Ken in the early years, we bring you this Pioneers stout, a rich and roasted ale, perfect for aging, and worthy of your finest snifter.  Enjoy!

F&K pours a deep black with a MASSIVE cascading head of foam.  The head is mocha colored at the bottom, but fades into a cappuccino like crown.   This head takes foreverrrrrrr to settle down.   Lacing is ever present and leaves rings around the glass with each gulp.

This is a tasty smelling beer.  It smells like chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate (chocolate ice cream to be more exact).   Grassy hops and strawberry hints come out as the beer warms up.

Actually, the hop scent dominates once the beer nears room temperature.

Fritz & Ken’s Ale is an odd duck of a beer.   Tastes like mild chocolate with hops and salt.  Yes, I said salt.  It tastes almost as if they used salt water instead of regular water in the brewing process.  There’s also a syrupy sweetness that becomes more prominent as the beer warms up.

The “salty” bite is the first thing that hits your mouth.  It’s surprising thin for an imperial sout, but has a stickiness that’s normal for the style.

Fritz & Ken’s Ale is quite possibly the weirdest stout I’ve ever had.  Leave it to Sierra Nevada to generously hop an imperial stout and create something so unique.  However, I don’t think it works.  I couldn’t get over the “salt-like” flavors that are so prominent in the flavor and I wanted more of the chocolate notes that I picked up in the nose.  This beer has great reviews on Beer Advocate, but I just didn’t care for it.

Overall: 6/10

As an IMPERIAL STOUT: 4/10

FOR FANS OF: Dogfish Head WORLDWIDE STOUT, Founders BREAKFAST STOUT, AleSmith SPEEDWAY STOUT

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