Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sierra Nevada XXX Jack & Ken’s Ale (Black Barleywine - 30th Anniversary)


Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Location: Chico, CA
Style: Barleywine
Brewery Website
Rating: A

Today’s tasting is a Black Barleywine from Sierra Nevada that was brewed for their 30th anniversary. The Black Barleywine pours up an opaque ruby-black with a thick, dark-tan head. The nose is malty with notes of caramel and sherry.

On the palate there is a nice bitter malty/chocolate kick. Wine notes are present, along with sherry and caramel. There is an herbal/grassy hops note, but it is just an undertone to the malt. Hops bitterness starts at a moderate level and builds from there. The beer is pretty dry for a barleywine. The 30th Anniversary Black Barleywine is medium-bodied, and while it seems a bit light for a barleywine, it is full enough for this beer. The finish has cocoa and espresso notes paired with grassy and herbal hops.

The Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Black Barleywine is a unique take on the barleywine style. Much like a Black IPA, the roasted malt adds a unique layer of complexity that works well with the barleywine style. The cocoa and coffee notes add a nice spin on the typical barleywine style. If you can still find this in your area, it is well worth hunting down and stashing in your cellar.

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