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Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary – Jack and Ken’s Ale

Name – Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary – Jack and Ken’s Ale
Country – United States
Type – American Barley Wine

I have absolutely loved the idea behind the 30th Anniversary series from Sierra Nevada.  Taking pioneers in the craft beer industry and having them collaborate on special brews is just awesome.  Especially coming from such a large scale craft brewery like Sierra Nevada.

Today I review the last in the 3 collaboration brews.  This is the black barley wine done with Jack McAuliffe.  He is considered on of the first micro brewers in the country by opening New Albion Brewery1976.  His drive was to make ales that were not commonly found here in the states and that is exactly what he did.  This was also the idea behind this particular brew for the collaboration.

So I popped the cork on this sucker and poured it into my Dogfish Head snifter glass.  It lays in the glass a pitch black color with a good sized tan head that sticks around for a good time.

I was surprised that the smell was not overly strong at all for a barley wine.  I get notes of roasted malts and caramel.

The taste provides even more roasted malts and sweet caramel.  There is very subtle hop flavor to give it some balance.  The alcohol can be warming as the beer itself warms up.

I was completely surprised by this beer.  It was a hop bomb like American style barley wines and wasn’t super malty like the English styles.  Instead it had a very nice roasted aroma and taste to it.  It made it taste sort of like a stout but the body was definitely that of a barley wine.

So far this has been my favorite of the series.  I’m definitely getting another bottle to lay down for a little while.  You absolutely must try this beer if you haven’t yet.

Grade – A

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  • Reply Joel

    I was thinking of opening this one around Christmas. One of the dudes at Total Wine suggested I let it sit for a couple months when I bought it in October because “it’s super-hot”. I’d like to buy a 2nd one to keep even longer but there’s just too much other enticing stuff on the shelves right now.

    November 12, 2010 at 9:37 am
    • Reply Mike

      In my opinion I think it’s drinking awesome right now but to each their own. But I bet this will go well around Christmas. Hopefully we can get some more cooler temperatures so that it can fit even better.

      But I would definitely say go and get another. Totally worth it.

      November 12, 2010 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Joel

    Yeah, I’m a bit disappointed our “cold” weather didn’t last. I’ve got a ton of stouts and barleywines I’ve been squatting on, some of which maybe too long already.

    November 12, 2010 at 10:14 am
    • Reply Mike

      Which ones do you have? Typically if it’s over 7% and stored upright you should be fine.

      November 12, 2010 at 11:47 am
  • Reply Brian

    Glad you liked it… I was really happy with this beer. I rarely use this word as I think it’s kind of dumb, but this beer was so “smooth”. Such a nicely balanced and elegant beer that provided great flavor without slapping you in the mouth… awesome beer

    November 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm
  • Reply Brian

    Oh and joel, too hot my ass… drinking great right now

    November 12, 2010 at 10:26 pm
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