The stage was set to try the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary ale. A collaboration between SN and Anchor, known as Ken and Fritz Ale. A stout. No denying it.
The 25 ounce bottle complete with with caged cork is a beauty to behold. The black label seemed and was perfect.
What kind of glass to pour this into? With all the wine-like presentation, a snifter might seem in order. But I chose less pretension: a straight up American ale glass.
Pouring this beer produced a cascade of brown foam that took awhile to settle down, where it appeared like chocolate meringue, substantially thick, but surprisingly, little aroma.
Although I do not listen to western classical music much, I put on a CD of the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Szell, of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. This provided musical background.
What was truly remarkable about Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary was the fact that no one flavor dominated in the malts presentation. Only the hops in the finish reminded me that this was a product from Chico, California. But what a loving tribute to Stout as recipe style. I was reminded while tasting this of all kinds of stout. From Irish dry to Imperial to Foreign and everything in between. A magnificent reminder of how great this recipe style truly is.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention the strength of this ale. A 9.5% alcohol by volume number, which I could not detect at all in the beer, just all malt goodness. I was happy I was not splitting this fifth. Besides hiding its strength, 30th Anniversary is incredibly drinkable.
The Beethoven was 34 minutes long, and I must have sat there another 15 minutes trying to fathom the quality I was tasting. “Finishing it off” as it were, I then proceed to bed, where I slept a full seven hours of dreamless sleep. I awoke refreshed with no hangover and totally convinced of the restorative power of malt. Cheers!