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Total Domination IPA - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Total Domination IPATotal Domination IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

358 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 358
Hads: 1,345
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 25.68%
Wants: 49
Gots: 280 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: grumpy on 08-23-2006

Ninkasi website:
"6.7% alc./vol. 65 ibus. Always available in 22 oz bottles, and on draft."
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Total Domination IPA Alström Bros
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Reviews: 358 | Hads: 1,345
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer's aroma is classically piny in every sense of the word. Sure, there are also hints of melon, caramel, and table sugar, but this one is all about the pine in particular. Dare I say it smells like a forest? It doesn't particularly pop, but neither does it seem overly harsh or biting. It tastes much the same way - that is to say, it's a pine bomb. It starts with plenty of pine, grass, and lemon; and finishes with a surge of toffee and caramel. Light fruit esters pop up after a while. Though I don't find it THAT bitter on the palate, make no mistake: it's astringent and very dry, with carbonation that's ample enough to cleanse things nicely. On the other hand, it feels a bit too bulky on the tongue. I expected a brutal pine bomb, but this is actually quite nice. A classic, old-school IPA that shows what the style used to be like, and still offers enjoyment compared to all the tropical juice beers currently out there today.

3.45/5: An old-school IPA through and through, but still quite charming

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Photo of GetSmokedOn
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 5

Purchased from local beersman.

Poured from a bottle into my mouth.

APPEARANCE: A cold wind blew as I powerfully gripped the bottle. Nice condensation on the bottle, good sticker. No twist top? No problem! Used a hammer to gently destroy the top of this bottle. Good foamy stuff on top and the glory rating would be strong to quite strong.

SMELL: The delicious pine drifted into my nasal unit. After removing the pine pieces I smelled the beer. It smelled like a pretty good IPA. There was a hint of chocolate with music notes and I could also smell my finger and I got a hint of my house because I was in my house.

TASTE: First, the flowery taste hit my mouth muscle like a veritable tour de france of hops. I was then lead down the primrose path to a hint of citrus. I took that hint and solved the riddle. There was mad citrus. There was a beery aftertaste. There was also a beery beforetaste with a beery nowtaste.

PALATE: Really bubble.

OVERALL: This beer. If I could put it into a word, I would say "This beer was so good". Of all the beer I did have this was one of the beers that I did have and didn't not have. There were good times and there were bad and I think that I had this before at my friend Jeff's house.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

220z bottle poured into a pint glass
no bottle or enjoy by date
pours a golden orange to slightly amber and somewhat cloudy
moderate white head that hung around and left some lace on the glass
smell was somewhat complex and subtle pine citrus and hops initially then ambrosia as the beer warmed
taste similar to the nose slightly sweet with floral pine and citrus also a perfume ambrosia taste as well
feel is medium body and somewhat viscous
i like ninkasi especially sleigh'r and tricerahops
total domination was not as good but ok overall

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Photo of woodychandler
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I know that I should be laser-focused on The CANQuest (tm), but I have been curious about Ninkasi's beers for a while and when I spied this at The Fridge, I decided to bring a 12-fl. oz. bottle home with me for review. Little did I know that it would be so unhappy in my fridge - twice, it tried to commit suicide by falling off of the shelf when I opened the door! Fortunately, I have a small bit of foam there for just such circumstances, having lost a couple that way. No worries, mate! Today, you shall have your freedom returned and you will experience the glory of recycling thereafter!

From the bottle: "Multiple hops collide in balanced perfection, dominating the senses and achieving total satisfaction. From the Pacific Northwest, birthplace of the modern IPA, comes a beer whose name says it all."

As I held the bottle up to the cold, hard light of the burgeoning day, I saw floaties in the kick of the bottle, suggesting a) hopping to the point of saturation/oversaturation and b) that a VERY gentle pour was in order. The cap Pop!ped off quite easily and so began the aforementioned pour. This raised only a skim of foam, but I managed to leave most of the lees (?) in the bottle, so I consider it a win. Color was a solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a pine hops quality, but it was not as dominant as the name had led me to expect. Mouthfeel was medium, but the tight CO2 bubbles gave it a prickly quality on the tongue. I was not really impressed by the taste. It was like the hops had total domination, not the beer having total domination over me. It was highly unbalanced, which I generally like, but this was like licking a pine tree without any respite. Don't get me wrong - I remain a self-avowed hophead, but the hops were unabating here. Finish was quite dry, naturally, since the malts were either absent or hiding out in their having been totally dominated.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.59/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this one in Buffalo during GABER 2015. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-looser, foamy white head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a good cap with foamy lacing. Hazy amber orange in color with no carbonation. A splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving some chunky lacing down the glass. A little too loose and foamy here.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, pineapple, melon, passion fruit and light lemon citrus on the nose. Bold enough and characterful.

TASTE: Passion fruit, melon and caramel up front. A little grainy at the swallow, with a bolder and lingering finish of grainy malts, hop bitterness and light melon flavors. Quite bitter and grainy for sure, without the advertised character of the nose. Grainy and bitter.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a touch dry. Bitterness lingers.

OVERALL: This is really grainy and bitter. Pretty simple without much of the fruity character that makes this style so wonderful. The nose had some of the right stuff going on, but the flavor just lost it. Not a good example of the style and yet another disappointing Ninkasi IPA.

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Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful orange-amber with a thin fizzy white head. The head has almost no retention but still leaves a smattering of sticky small lacing. The aroma is astringent hops and not much else. The taste is similar but with just a hint of caramel malt sweetness and a little tropical fruit. The body is lighter, mostly smooth but with a little bit of carbonation.

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Photo of gandres
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On 12 oz bottle, poured on wine glass, with dinner
Color/Look: cloudy yellow no head
Smell: hoppy smell, not to big
Taste: bland taste, not balance, not a lot of bitterness common in good IPAs

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber color. Mild haze. Off-white head settles after only a short time. Spotty lacing.

S: Grassy and herbal hops. Earthy. Faint whiffs of sliced tangerine and grapefruit. Sweet and toasty malt base.

T: Grassy and floral hop flavors morph and go earthy and herbal soon thereafter. Pine. Sharp and oily bitterness. Bitter grapefruit rind. Soapy. Sweet caramel and toast malt base. Grainy toward the finish. Very bitter hop finish.

M: Medium body. Slightly chewy and creamy, but it ultimately feels a bit watery. Sharply carbonated.

O: Bitey and perhaps a bit too bitter for its own good. Body leaves a bit to be desired too. It's a little harsh and doesn't leave me longing for another. It will be difficult for this one to tread water in a saturated IPA market.

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Photo of Rogerlb
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours nice, light amber, a might cloudy and bright. Head dissipates quickly but the lacing stays for a while. Aroma is subtle, sweet and citrusy. First taste is a bittery hoppy west coast-style IPA flavor, not too overpowering. A toasty malt contributes to a sweet/slightly metalic bitterness. Side of the bottle says IBU is 65 but It seems higher to me, it's fighting to get through.

Slight nuances in the tastes. Lot of pine and dank, a little melon, all nicely balanced and no one flavor overtakes the others. The feel is oily and syrupy, and malt bitter aftertaste lingers. Still, pretty drinkable. Ultimately this feels hoppier to me than their Tricerahops DIPA, which I like more, but is also more floral and citrusy than this, and is doing stronger DIPA things, more going on. I don't have a side-by-side right now to compare, and it may be the malt in this one makes it seem simpler and actually smoother.

This one works on the IPA score easily, and at $4.00 a bomber you can't go wrong. A great beer.

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Photo of MacPhergus
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good light color, kind of s weak head, very clear. Not much aroma, was expecting more. Bitterness a little edgy but tasty. Body just right for the style.

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Photo of detgfrsh
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thin head that dissipates quickly. Faint smell of hops. Tastes of citrus at first and then a strong hop flavor/bitterness to finish. Decent IPA, and at $4 for a bomber it's relatively cheap too.

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Photo of Nichol
4.29/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is going to be vague because I'm only reviewing this one so I can remember it later. I only had one that I brought back home from Oregon (I now regret only having one brought back and need to get more somehow). Beautiful shade of amber, nice lacing head. Strong hops right off the top and pleasantly dry mouthfeel. This is a good winter/fall beer, I think. Full flavor and leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy. Must find again.

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Photo of pmangold
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my first beer from Ninkasi - a good overall IPA that hits the marks that one should expect from an IPA. A citrus/pine combo, easy to drink. While it doesn't strike a perfect balance of malt to hops, it's close enough and an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer is a clear medium Amber. Nice creamy head. Strong grapefruit and pine notes but still a fairly sweet and honey notes. Feel is a bit on the heavy side. Still good.

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Photo of Strat58cat
4.31/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No unicorns were injured in the production of this ale. They deny this is unicorn milk. Anyway, that's what they claim. This is a great IPA in my humble opinion. It is a no-compromise, elite-quality effort to create a delicious, aromatic, balanced ale. Reviewers are going to extremes, forgetting that the essence of enjoyment is balance, not extreme bitterness, pine or fruit for its own sake. Top rated Union Jack is an ester laden fruit bomb, lacking the balance of Firestone wines. Delicious Sierra Nevada - great as it is - is a pine bomb. Yes, it's like drinking a pine meadow, and one of the best. Total Domination, in contrast, is balance incarnate. Pine notes, fruit notes, bitterness, malt in balance and harmony. This ale is good!

The weakness with the ale is that the aroma dissipates. It's great at first but weakens. Stone kills the aroma all the way to the bottom of the glass, and yes Stone is more bitter. Even relatively inexpensive and 45 IBU Rebel, though, (once decanted and thoroughly vented to eliminate the excess of pine when the bottle is cracked open) keeps its bouquet to the bottom of the glass.

Without extensive dry-hopping, Ninkasi's balance is coming at the price of a somewhat subdued aroma. Still, Total Domination's a great IPA.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange with a thin white head.

Smell: Surprisingly almost no smell. Slight hops is about it.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of bitter hops and pine notes.

Overall: Not bad, I have had better IPAs. But it was a free sample!

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Photo of raiderob
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber into pint glass. Apricot amber in color with light creamy head and nice lingering lacing. Citrus fruit like flavors and tart finish. Prost❗

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold to shiny new copper penny in color with a quarter inch of off white head. The body does not allow much light to get through. Moderate lacing. The nose allots a small bit of pine. I taste more of a citrus hop character. Strangely I taste more of a pine hop profile as the beer warmed. The mouth is dry and lightly chalky. I wonder what a less than 3 1/2 month bottle would taste like.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cellar-like temperature, in my tulip.

Appearance is clear orange-amber with a two-cm cap of just off white foam which remains for a while and leaves some lovely lacing.

The aroma is fairly faint, but what I get is mostly pine, with a little orange and honey.

Now that's a very well-rounded flavor profile. Sweet yet tart citrus, then pine needles, and a drawn-out finish of sweet bread or biscuits. I feel the bitter astringency lingering more a good minute or two after a sip.

The feel is medium, and the carbonation is moderate, feeling just right.

A nice specimen here. Exhibits sufficient balance and bitterness.

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Photo of muldersha
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Had from a 12oz brown bottle purchased in Portland, OR

Pours a murky and lightly hazy deep orange color with a solid bone white head. Very good retention and a nice lacing throughout.

Grapefruit, orange, citrus, citrus oil, candy sugar, orange peel caramel candy, peach juice, lemon oil cleaner, and leafy herbs.

Medium to medium-full bodied with a somewhat oily texture and an aggressive wall of bitterness before an astringent finish.

Loads of bitter orange and grapefruit. Could potentially be a great cocktail ingredient as a drier substitute for Aperol or Campari.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours gorgeous brilliant gold under a 2” sudsy, clingy white foam collar.
S: Bready malt, resiny hops, floral, spice, light fruit, slight earthiness.
T: Malty, bready flavors ride a wave of creaminess through your mouth and then the hops start moving in to provide a balance leading to a lingering bitter finish. The hop flavors are layered with traces of fruit.
F: Carbonation is medium and body is medium high.
O: This is a big beer with solid, tonic level bitterness.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

on tap at bobbique with lunch and some ribs. transparent orange color thin head. nose and taste is a rich syrupy hop but the taste has a fairly massive bitter blast on the finish. on the sweeter side of the spectrum. ok, not bad but not great either.

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Photo of jhavs
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a nonic tasting glass
A: Gold to amber with slightly off white foamy head.
S: Hops up front with some pine and citrus, rind. Get some malt, caramel, toasty aroma as well.
T: I get the sweet malts up front, maybe a bit too much, but pine, resin, and citrus flavors and bitterness ensue.
M: Beer has medium body and moderate carbonation.
O: A good IPA, easy to drink, good balance of ABV and mouth feel for a repeat. IMO the malt and hop balance was a little out of whack, to much malt sweetness up front. Bottle was fresh, so don't think that was the issue. Would like to try on tap to see if that improves my opinion.

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Photo of DT509er
2.31/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Too citrusy and sweet for me. The taste, flavor and flow of this beer taste better when consumed from the bottle, no beer-glass/pint needed. After this 6-pack, I'll find something else for myself.

Like The Bro's say, "Okay"..but thats about it for this IPA.

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Photo of ChestnutsRLazy
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

One of my personal favorites, I tried it because they sell it at the gas station next to my house. Beautiful appearance and lacing, citrusy, lots of grapefruit. I've had lots of IPAs, many of the best rated and is TD up there with them? No, but if you like a grapefruit profile give this one a shot, you won't be disappointed. I moved to a state where I can't get it except for one restaurant (Utah). This place has hundreds of beers (and also includes the BA rating on the menu!) and I go for this every time I miss it so much.

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Total Domination IPA from Ninkasi Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.