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Believer - Ninkasi Brewing Company

BelieverBeliever

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

359 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 359
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.61%


Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
An Imperial American Red Ale.

Ninkasi website:
"6.9 % alc./vol. 60ibus. Always available in 22 oz bottles, and on draft."

(Beer added by: Cascadia on 06-23-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 359 | Reviews: 168 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

2.69/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This was one of the many beers poured at the December Albany Taproom bottle share. Whoever bought it, thanks! Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. This was 60-90 days old, so keep that in mind as I review.

Pours a darkened reddish amber color - looks a lot like your typical English bitter, mind you, if it weren't for the off-white fizzy looking head that I've typically seen in all of this brewery's beers. Some bubbles stick to the sides of the glass upon the initial pour, and while it seems relatively lively it isn't enough, apparently to solve it from completely dissipating overall. Slightly viscous in appearance, but otherwise pretty average for the style.

Smells slightly citrusy, with a mostly earthy grainy and spicy yeasty feel overall. In other words, this is how MOST hoppy Ninkasi beers have been for as long as I can remember. Some orange peel, big pine, and maybe some grapefruit, but it's otherwise very earthy, spicy, and grainy, with some light soapy notes as well. Something's really up with whatever yeast they're using, because it's really disjointed overall.

Tastes equally earthy, and while there's a better dose of citrus and pine here, it ends up feeling very peppery and soapy. Granted, this bottle may be slightly past its prime, but I have no idea what this probably tasted like fresh. Maybe a little bit juicier? Regardless, there's nothing more here than some dried citrus rinds, pine, pepper, and some slight earthiness, with a biscuit caramel backbone that becomes excessively overrun by the soapy properties. Finishes pretty astringent and malty, and the floral soap notes become stronger at the finish as well. It's slightly refreshing, but mainly while it's cold. As it warms up, it gets progressively maltier, much to its disadvantage. It's not the worse, but not a very good interpretation of the style.

Something's up with Ninkasi - I've been drinking their beers for a while, but a lot of them have gotten yeastier, earthier, and soapy in the past year or so. This is a prime example of many things that are a little strange with their beers these days, and I'm not sure if it's just my changing taste buds, or something particularly worse. Otherwise, I had some trouble enjoying this, which is bizarre as this is merely an amber ale! Not very recommended, but okay if you're just starting to get into amber ales.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 23:44:23 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle.

Into a pint glass:

A: rich malty red looking body with a huge lumpy foamy white head that rises above the pint glass and once it dies after a good minute it sinks to a valley of lumpy white goodness

S: mainly caramel malts, some bitterness but to me it seems like its just bitterness for the sake of bitterness, (I wish Ninkasi would put dates on their bottles)

T: dried caramel malty flavoring - to me this doesn't really show much in the taste; super dry caramel aftertaste that leads to a very dry finish

M: medium on the body, wants to be sessionable but not really a sipper - just an interesting Amber/Red ale, carbonation is fairly smooth as there's nothing harsh on my tongue or mouth and its decent for the style and for me

O: this is basically just a bit above average American Amber/Red Ale, maybe only seek again on tap or fresher

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 05:37:41 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Glendale Tap in Glendale, CA.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a better hop presence in the taste.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2014 18:20:01 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz : tulip

Pours a clear, dark amber red with a foamy, toffee colored head.

Big caramel, toffee malt notes upfront, with floral, citric and herbal hop note highlights. The malts are more robust in the nose, while the hops come through more in the taste though they are fairly balanced in the big picture.

Medium bodied, light, foamy carbonation.

The malts and hops both have equally big, impressive profiles here, and they compliment eachother quite nicely.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 07:52:50 | More by vkv822
Photo of souvenirs
souvenirs

British Columbia (Canada)

3.29/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

650ml from a combo park of four different beers from Ninkasi.

A: Chestnut brown and clear, with about one finger of tan head.
S: Grapefruit, melon, a bit of nuttiness and caramel.
T: Mostly bitter, especially the aftertaste, to the extent that it's unpleasant. This bitterness lingers in my mouth for a long time.

It smelled so good! The taste was a disappointment. I definitely will not get this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 22:43:27 | More by souvenirs
Photo of cherche
cherche

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has been such a hit or miss with me I just don't know how to rate it. The color is an dark copper and the head is thick and foamy. The first time I had it I thought it was one of my favorite beers I had had in a long time and definitely a top red ale...the second time I still liked it but a little less, the third was about the same as the second. All three were on tap...I might have to revise my rating after the next time I try it but for now I still think it is a great beer. Pretty malty and not something I would have more than 1 - 2 pints of but a flavorful red with some uniqueness to it. I am excited to give it another try and really try to focus to figure out if I love it or hate it :)

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2013 22:31:46 | More by cherche
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ninkasi Brewing 'Believer Double Red Ale' @ 6.9% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6

A-pour is dark amber from bottle to glass with a medium size off white head leaving a streaky lace along the stein

S-nutty malts & grassy hops

T-slight sweet start but is really bitter from start to finish

MF-low carbonation , medium to full bodied

Ov-ok beer , just to bitter for me

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2013 17:20:45 | More by LampertLand
Photo of JasonLovesBeer
JasonLovesBeer

British Columbia (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Sweet. Vanilla and caramel and even some molasses. I can't find any of the hops in the nose, even though I know they're there.

Palate: Mouthfeel is quite thick. Vanilla and toffee sweetness to start, very malty, bready, and sweet. The hops come through shortly after and linger through the finish. Earthy and piney hops. No floral or citrus notes from what I can tell.

Finish: Ends bitter - 20 seconds in, you might as well have been drinking an IPA despite the hugely sweet malty start.

Conclusion: This is a pretty darn good red ale. I tend to forget about this style of beer because it's.. well, forgettable usually. However, it does fill an important segment, somewhere between the IPA and the CDA. This is 6.9% ABV and 60 IBU which makes it accessible but not boring. I think this beer strikes a pretty good balance. Colour me satisfied.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 02:37:26 | More by JasonLovesBeer
Photo of jeffjeff1
jeffjeff1

California

3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- dark red color, thick foamy head, very nice lacing

Smell- very malty, very slight amount of hops

Taste- very malty, more hops in the flavor than in the smell, well balanced, pretty good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. I would probably have it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 00:45:31 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of dsolonenko
dsolonenko

Singapore

4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: awesome color, deep red, very clear. big creamy head which does not go away
S: smells great too, heavy sweet with prunes and macademia-nutty notes. and toasted bread
T: caramel and toasted bread, then the hops bitterness kicks in and stays for quite some time.
M: silky mouthfeel, low carbonation
O: overall great bear, maybe a bit too bitter to my taste

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 15:31:42 | More by dsolonenko
Photo of jeffeljefe
jeffeljefe

Washington

2.58/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A) Rocky head fades after a few seconds leaving nice lacing, hazy reddish orange
S) sweet malty aroma, fruits
T) Sweet and roasty malt, resinous, slightly bitter, estery body, metallic finish
M) smooth medium-body, prickly carbonation, long bitter finish
O) Never really been a fan of red ales to date, this one not converting me. Appearance and smell are the high points, taste is pretty good until it fades to the bitter, piney finish that coats my mouth

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 03:40:52 | More by jeffeljefe
Photo of ChugMan
ChugMan

Washington

3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Food Pairing: Had this with some meaty red sauce lasagne, and the two worked together very well. The hoppy finish of the Believer was quite contrary to this happy joining, however.
A - Beautiful deep red. Prominent head which provided some fine lacing as well.
S - Very mild, but enticing. Carrot, cherry, black licorice.
T - Remarkably creamy coupled with a richness that makes you want to keep on drinking!
M - Begins creamy, with hoppy bites across the tongue throughout which are welcome at first, but outlast and unfortunately overshadow the otherwise charming qualities of its flavor.
O - Difficult to reconcile. On one hand, it has an excellent flavor which is truly outstanding in my experience with this style. On the other, it seems unbalanced with the bitterness of its aftertaste. Absolutely worthwhile on the whole, and one worth revisiting with perhaps more worthy food pairings.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 10:29:05 | More by ChugMan
Photo of BradMacMullin
BradMacMullin

Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into 20oz gladd at Side Door. Great looking dark copper appearance with a nice 1 finger head. I was pleasantly surprised with the taste - nice malty taste with a slgith hoppy balance. A great 'warmer' type of taste. Ninkasi usually underwhems me with their ipa that is everywhere, but this is a pilsner I will return to

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2013 20:08:07 | More by BradMacMullin
Photo of sam_bliss
sam_bliss

Washington

3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz Bomber into Ninkasi pint glass.

A magnificent inch of caramel-white head tops off this elegant transparent mahogany-amber ale. The foam leaves ample lacing up the side of the pint glass. Grassy hops and red cherry top off the malt-forward aroma of caramel, toffee and some roasted scents. The first sip is pleasant, although much different than my expectations. It tastes like grapefruit spooned out of the half-bowl peel. Carbonation tickles and citric acid prickles. Very complex mix of rich malts fill out the mid-mouth taste. The aftertaste continues to pucker, and leaves an unpleasant grapefruit-like sting in the back of the throat. It's a bit metallic.

This is a much more citrus-heavy beer than I expected (or even smelled!) Like the take on American Amber with no single malt flavor dominating, which allows for a very solid malt canvas on which to paint citrusy hops. The issue is they might have overdone the grapefruit. I'm not sure what makes this a 'double' red - I'd like to know why it is called that. Overall, I like it. Refreshment level is as high as possible for an amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 04:05:55 | More by sam_bliss
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a bright, clear ruby red with a slight orange tinge. Off-white, 2 finger head. Good retention. Solid lace presence with good stick.

Smell - Primarily a sweet, bready malt aroma with hints of caramel, citrus and a peppery spice.

Taste - Bread and faint caramel malts to start, then a slightly peppery bite with orange citrus hops become prevalent mid-taste and last into the finish. Aftertaste rings with a slight metallic character, which is common in a lot of reds.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with fair, tingly carbonation, but little bite. Finishes with a good amount of dryness.

Overall - Not sure what makes this a double or imperial red, as the label claims. Tastes like your average craft red to me, along the lines of Red Tail Ale or Alleycat Amber. Good balance, but kinda boring.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 23:24:43 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of N3rdM3t4l
N3rdM3t4l

Oregon

3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into standard pint with Ninkasi logo printed on it (my lucky pint glass).

A: a finger of slightly reddish head fell to a decent cap with a few patches of frothier foam. Leaving good lacing on the glass. Somewhat see through dark red. I can't even call this amber because it isn't orange enough. Looks like blood orange.

S: sweet with notes of banana (odd), slight floral notes, and a bit of caramel.

T: opens a little sweet followed by a good hit of rich malty flavor followed up with a shot of hop bitterness.

M: really rich and kinda chewy. feels pretty darn good going down too. would say either the light side of heavy or the heavy side of medium bodied.

O: a little bias here, Ninkasi are hometown heroes and I really love this beer. Nothing fantastic about it but it is one of my go to beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 03:57:20 | More by N3rdM3t4l
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk

Pours clear blood orange flesh with a central dome and peripheral etch of light tan foam. Smells of some resiny hops, a bready rye like character and a touch of BO. Flavor is bitter with that nice red beer spicy character (I think this is from Special B malt...). A good dose of sweetened malts, some bits of tea hops and a cinnamon like finish that is longer than anticipated. Medium bodied with reserved carb and a bit of a dry finish. Nice enough beer, but I don't buy it very often anymore due to the price hike (which is miniscule).

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 06:40:26 | More by harrymel
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle from LetsPour. No discernable bottling info. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours deep murky red brown with about a half finger of off white head that quickly recedes.

Aroma is fairly faint. Caramel, bread and herbal earthy hops.

Flavor is bready malt forward. Toast, caramel, toffee, lemongrass and herbal hops. No real alcohol presence in the taste.

Medium light body with an interesting carbonated zest with each sip that quickly calms to a slow sizzle on the tongue. Long lasting grassy bitter hops in the aftertaste.

Not sure what makes this a "double" red ale because I'm pretty sure it has neither twice the malts nor twice the hops of a standard red ale. It's still a pretty solid beer and I had no problems polishing off a bomber by myself.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 06:11:20 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22-oz. bottle into a pint glass on Nov. 27, 2012 (purchased the variety 4-pack for $15.99 at BevMo (with card) in La Mesa, Calif. (San Diego) on Nov. 27, 2012. Red amber with 1-2 fingers of khaki white head that dissipated at a normal rate. Sporadic retention on the sides, average and lighter on the top.

Smelled rye, iced tea, molasses, and lots of thick rich malts. Some butter, but not too crazy.

Tasted heavy amber malts. Got thick molasses, rye, iced tea with some slight bitter hops late.

Medium body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Long surprisingly bitter finish.

This beer started out well, but as soon as it hit the lips it went downhill. Not something I’d try again.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 06:56:20 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber pour but sits dark brown in my festive Thanksgiving mason jar. Big, boisterous head is all bluster and quick to dissipate. No lace and left by a sad, lonely wisp of retention.

Caramel pineapple aroma with a mineral, fruit skin undertone. Tastes like it smells: sweet, sweet caramel pineapple spice hops and Hawaiian Punch. Steely like it was brewed with mineral water.

A brighter, sun shiny version of what is often a thick, heavy, over-carmelized malt laden beer. I like the interpretation.

My first Ninkasi and while I'm impressed by the beer I'm disappointed by the labels. That's not even trying.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 02:17:57 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper-orange with a finger of frothy tannish head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet rich caramel malts with some light caramelization, grapefruit, tropical, and pine hops, and some light bready malts.

T - Starts off with some sweet rich caramel malts with some caramelized sugars, with some grapefruit, orange, and citrus hops and bitterness. Through the middle, some pine hops come through with some more bitterness and some bready malts. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel and caramelized malts, grapefruit and pine hops, and some bitterness.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice overall balance with a good malty backbone and a nice hop profile and bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 00:28:17 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of thegodfather1076
thegodfather1076

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Ninkasi seal as expected with a smooth and appealing color scheme that flows well.

Appearance: Poured from a 22oz bomber into a 16oz English Pint. Pours out a deep dark amber color with a 2 finger airy tan foam head that dissipates fairly quickly before slowing and then finally dissipating into thin foam coating. Head retention is 4min 52sec. Very good lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells on the sweet side with caramel malts and an almost buttery aroma. Very pleasant citrus hop smell accents the malt smell.

Flavor/Taste: Huge toasted sweet caramel malt presence right of the bat followed by a buttered biscuit-like flavor. The citrus hop tasted accents well on the back end.

MouthFeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability: Very filling but very drinkable.

Overall/Comments: Heavy on the malts but this is a double red ale. Packed with an excellent flavor and smell profile. A very good example of a Red Ale. Classified as an Imperial Red Ale at 6.9% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 06:41:56 | More by thegodfather1076
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a tall cylinder glass. Pours a dark ruby red with a one inch white head and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, herbal hops and citrus. Nice, medium bodied red ale. Light to moderate malt and dark fruits. Spike of piney hops at the finish, which worked well with this beer. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 23:31:24 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm back and forth on this one. Which makes me think a bit less of it since it seems to be going both ways. Too tangy with too much malt showing. Too...bright. I know I have used that term in the past, but that is what I am thinking here on this one. Just strikes me as too turned to the wrong side. Should be a bit more mature and subdued and rounded in certain aspects, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 22:25:31 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep red with a 2 finger off-white somewhat creamy head. Good retention. Just a bit of lacing.

Smell is a little bland. A little caramel with some earthy and perhaps citrusy hops. Not much here.

A little bit of sweet caramel upfront. Rounds into huge piney earthy bitterness near the back end. Tastes like a huge heaping of Nugget akin to Nugget Nectar only a lesser version. Hops leave an astringent aftertaste.

On the light side of medium, but all in all not bad. Good carbonation levels.

Not too bad, but not best in style either. It was a pleasant drinker although I wouldn't recommend it to people who don't like bitterness in their reds.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 21:31:15 | More by jmarsh123
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Believer from Ninkasi Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.