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Believer - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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

417 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 417
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.32%
Wants: 16
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
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: 417 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ccrida:
Photo of ccrida
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Believer is a very dark brownish amber with a big tan head, pretty tight with some larger bubbles, not much last, pretty heavy lace. Granted they call it a double red, but the fact is, this sucker is so dark, it could pass for a brown porter.

Smell is pretty good, a nice mix of amber malts, slight caramel sweetness and resinous hops, pine like.

Taste is ok, I haven't had this since it first came out, and while it's better then I remember, it's still not quite what I am looking for. I prefer more of the DIPA style big reds, where this one has big maltiness, moderate hop flavor, and very high level of bitterness, which seems to dominate any other taste. I'd guess there's oats in this too, a bit grainy, astringent. There is a bit of sweetness and waxy phenols from the malt, but the bitterness of the hops really dominate the palate. Served around 45F, I let the second half sit for a good hour while I shoveled snow, and I have to say that it improved quite a bit once warmed up, with some chocolate coming though to provide more malty contrast to the bitterness. Still, only a 1/2 point improvement.

Mouthfeel is pretty carbonated, chewy, medium-heavy body.

Drinkability is ok, not a bad beer but it really doesn't work for me. I'd like more sweetness from the malts, and/or more hop flavor and less bitterness. Upping the flavor profile would let them boast the ABV a tad as well, making it more of the double the claim. Still, I'm a big fan of this brewery, and view this more as a disconnect in personal taste rather then failure in execution.

ccrida, Dec 22, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from a seasonal four pack. Very rewarding purchase given I might not have tried this beer if it wasn't included as one of the four. Another fine beer from Ninkasi. Pours dark red. Nice head retention.
Very hoppy for a red ale. Great citrus aftertaste kept me going back for more. Pleasant and very drinkable.
Not an IPA but trying to masquerade as one.

NWer, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of freshflesh
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

freshflesh, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of EROCK83
4/5  rDev +5.3%

EROCK83, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of Beerswag
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Beerswag, May 01, 2013
Photo of mctizzz
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

mctizzz, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of IDYVM
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

IDYVM, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of chossboss
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

chossboss, Apr 04, 2014
Photo of virinow
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

virinow, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of ohmybock
2.48/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Well, the bottle states this brew has a "rich dark malt complexity" among other things. I'd certainly have to agree after tasting it. Unfortunately, I don't care for that rich dark malt complexity at all in this red ale. For my tastes, that dark, bitter, harsh, roasted character doesn't work for me at all here. I like my red ales "red", but without an overpowering harsh chocolate/roasted character. I did like the hop character which is mingled in with the other flavors. I also liked the color and clarity of this brew. There could have been more head, but that's not a big deal. Overall, this brew just didn't work for me. Oh well, that's why they make lots of different brews, right? Everybody has different likes and dislikes.

ohmybock, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of sourdog
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

sourdog, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

chickenm, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of mj001jk
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark red amber with a hazel-colored foam. A thin lacing remains for a while in the glass.

Earthy hops and nutty aromas with caramel and roasted marshmallow accents. A little bit of alcohol bite on the nose but it adds character and lets you know what to expect.

Earthy wood and subtly roasted malt flavors with a fig-like character and pronounced bitterness at the end. The flavors linger and fade out nicely a minute or so later.

I really like this sort of a red ale, dark and brooding - yet fresh and balanced.

mj001jk, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of HoppySeb
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

HoppySeb, May 13, 2014
Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

22 oz shared bottle.
Nice clear red-amber color.
Rather ordinary aroma but a very rich flavor with enough hop balance to leave a mildly bitter finish.

chinchill, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of Beer21
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Beer21, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of WaydeRafnel
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

WaydeRafnel, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of ste5venla
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

ste5venla, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of InfernoBoss
4/5  rDev +5.3%

InfernoBoss, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of heather625
5/5  rDev +31.6%

heather625, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of intoxabroad
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

intoxabroad, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev +5.3%

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of Sargully
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Sargully, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

TheSixthRing, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of MichaelPiazza
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

MichaelPiazza, Sep 11, 2014
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Believer from Ninkasi Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 417 ratings.