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Believer - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BelieverBeliever

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

411 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 411
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
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: 411 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Sammy, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear copper that verges on mahogany with a rocky beige head that leaves plenty of lace behind

Smell: Piney and pithy, with undertones of caramel and nuts

Taste: After an initial blast of caramel and nuts, the flavor grows increasingly piney and then pithy, with a biting dose of tangerine peel; after the swallow, the residual sweetness returns to balance out the hops; somewhat earthy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: All in all, one of the better examples of the amber style; sure, I would like it to explore the IPA dimensions a bit more but that is not what this beer is about

Thanks, mabermud, for the chance to re-visit

brentk56, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Brewed and dedicated to the believers of Ninkasi. Rich dark malt complexity is balanced by a plentiful hop presence bringing together perfection in every sip. Who knew believing had so many rewards?"

--Believer Double Red Ale label

More cranberry than orange, with maraschino cherry highlights when backlit. Atop this darker than usual red ale sits a pale caramel colored crown that is small, but has a great deal of character. The moonscape surface looks fantastic, as do thick patches of sticky lace.

The beer smells moderately caramel malty with plenty of citric and spicy hoppiness. It's all wonderfully bold and portends good beer to come.

Other than a fruit peel muskiness and a little bit of sourness, both of which remain in the background, Believer Double Red Ale tastes like a well-hopped double red ale. Imagine that. Malt and hops are nicely balanced, both in terms of sweetness-bitterness and in terms of flavor delivery. Yet another successful lupulin-loaded Pacific Northwest brew. There are 60 IBUs in case you're wondering.

The malt backbone is just big enough. A teensy bit more heft would be welcome. Flavors include melted caramel, a cornucopia of citrus fruit (lemon, orange and grapefruit), and maybe even candied cherries. This isn't a hugely complex beer, but it is a tasty one that should satisfy anyone looking for an alpha acid fix.

I'll set my full mouthfeel bias aside and give BDRA the benefit of the doubt. Again, a few more shovelfuls of malt would help. The carbonation does what it's supposed to do, while pretty much staying the hell out of the way.

Believer Double Red Ale and Total Domination IPA are my favorite Ninkasi offerings so far. Both are solid from top to bottom. I look forward to seeing what else these guys have up their sleeves. Cue The Monkees: "I'm a believer...".

BuckeyeNation, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was fantastic. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Served chilled and poured into several pint glasses, this one was consumed on 09/07/2009.
 
The pour was marvelous. Rich dark amber in color with a nice brown consistency to it. A big head of off white comes up and over the top, settling down nicely into a pillow that never really lets go after that point. Really nice touches of lace ring the sides of the glass and complete the look rather well. Enormous aroma of earthy hops, sweet caramel and candy like sugar are damn near spot on. Warming it only serves to make it sweeter. Wonderful touches of warm brown sugar are the first thing I notice. Smooth, super smooth. Big, nearly full bodied feel here delivers tons of bready malts and an overpowering dose of caramel flavor. Just about perfect. Warming up brings out more candied sugar and just the most sweet malt flavors  I could imagine. Nice dose of hops on the finish just brings the whole thing together really quite nicely.
 
Overall this was just superb. A style I don't get to see to often, but if it came out like this I would be dying to try it. Really just top notch and a cut above the rest. I would have to recommend this to anyone.

mikesgroove, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

GRG1313, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

jaydoc, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany-hued body with a thin ring of white bubbles up top.

Smell: Toasted grains and caramel with a distant, though distinct spicy hoppiness.

Taste: Grainy, caramel maltiness with a light amount of sweetness. Even some roast in there too. Spicy, woody hop character with a medium-high bitterness. Hint of lemon zest. Dry, grainy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Adequate and drinkable, I'll give it at least that much.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of largadeer
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

largadeer, May 08, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

SocalKicks, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

RblWthACoz, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Ninkasi Brewing Company (Eugene, OR) on 9/2/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear ruby in the glass, with a thin layer of bright-white head. This maintains some foamy edges, leaving back a cascade of spotty lacing that sticks a bit to the sides of the glass. The aroma smells leafy and touch dank, which sits on top of a big tangy punch of sweet caramel malt and green citrus with some roasty feeling edges to it. Alcohol is coming out here in the nose a bit, giving this maybe a bit too much of a warm stickiness in the nostrils.

The taste has a firm grapefruit bitterness up front, balanced by a LOT of sticky caramel sweetness before heading into more of a roasted feeling backend. Hops finish this fairly strong though, with green citrus, pine, and dry spice hanging tough. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a solid crispness that spreads out. There is a touch of underlying heft to the feel but the alcohol overall feels pretty right on for the flavors, giving this a warming presence but not coming off as too big.

This was a pretty solid Double Red Ale here, with a fairly well balanced profile (although the malts did threaten to overrun things at bit at certain points) and just the right amount of alcohol being present so as not to turn this into an overly sticky and boozy mess. I enjoyed this and will probably seek this out in the bottle at some point to try again.

Kegatron, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up from bottletrek

Pours orange/chestnut one finger of tan head. some floaties in the bottom of the bottle. Good head retention & above average lacing

S: Cakey, but not much else

T: Toasty malt, herbal & leafy hops & a touch of roasted malt up front. As this warms the flavor oscillates from cocoa to charred grain & back with lots of leafy hops & a touch of fruittyness (figs & pears), plus a bot of brown sugar. finishes dry with some caramel & more leafy hops, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Light/medium bodied with light, but persistent carbonation; fairly good balance

Fairly drinkable for the abv, but really lacks the malt guts to really suck me in. A nice winter warmer from a pretty good brewery

russpowell, May 29, 2008
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%

A well made beer but one that doesn't all the way jive with my tastes personally. It's brick red with a yellowish frothy head with superb retention from the tap. What I like about it is that it's loaded with caramel red malt favors but remains rather dry compared to other beers in the style. That's the good for me. The bad is that it seems overhopped from a bitterness perspective, and has a lot of body for what it is, making it a real slow sipper for me, and it doesn't warm up all that well. Soapy feeling on the tongue but bubbles are good. Usually I like how hoppy their stuff is, but this seems out of whack a little bit

StonedTrippin, Wednesday at 06:39 PM
Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Empire Ale House, Mt. Vernon, WA

Poured into a pint glass, a nice clear reddish-brown, with a small but dense white head. Toasted bread and dark sugars in the aroma. Toasted malts and bread in the taste, caramel, nuts, followed by a hop bitterness and a touch of apple and orange zest. A touch of alcohol. Medium bodied and quite drinkable.

Rifugium, May 22, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks nice with the fine-grained foam and darkish amber color. Quite carbonated in the mouth. Peculiar woody flavor that slides into something like old oxidized wine. The hops start out OK but overwhelm the other flavors. General effect is an Old Ale with a hop attack. Lots of malt is the nice touch, but the elderly fruit flavor gets very old.

Another brand that apparently only BevMo carries, which is another reason to avoid BevMo.

mactrail, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

DrunkinYogi, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled June 2011
A solid pour into my New Belgium Globe glass produces an almost two-finger thick, lightly tan colored head; the head is fairly creamy textured and dense and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a dark, concentrated, almost burnt amber color that shows a bright, lightly hazed, deep red color and a ton of carbonation bubbles when held up to the light. The aroma, a mix of rich malt and the hops, reminds me of a deep berry fruitiness that is backed by a deep caramelized citrus zest character. There is a touch peppery character and a soft pine note that is in the aroma, but these play a definite supporting role in the aroma. The malt definitely plays a big role here in the nose, though the hops are the dominant note, and it contributes an almost buttery caramelized malt character as well as a slightly nutty, deeply caramelized, fruity maltiness and a toasted grain character that plays a slightly secondary role. The caramelized notes are definitely the dominant malt aromatic in this beer and it really accentuates and deepens the fruitiness from the hops, which is why the nose has such a berry like focus instead of the more typical citrus focus that defines many an American hop.

Definitely a touch over-carbonated, but there is enough of a creamy quality to the body that this really doesn’t detract much. The beer has a sweetness to it that is not overwhelming, but accentuates a fruit character that leans towards caramelized tangelo, concentrated ruby red grapefruit, some touches of lychee as well as a ripe berry character that almost has a jam like quality to it. There is a balanced bitterness to this beer (it definitely isn’t overly aggressive), in the finish it becomes a bit more aggressive and even combines with a touch of malt astringency that hints at darker malts. While the body definitely has a chewiness to it, it remains pretty drinkable and light enough to be quaffable. The malt contributes a hint of nuttiness as well as a rich toasted caramel malt character and perhaps a hint of sweet tea. There is a certain spiciness to the hop character, likely accentuated by the malt, that reminds me just a bit of cinnamon somehow (I’ve gotten the same note in Winter Yulesmith).

This is quite tasty, I wasn’t expecting too much as I was thinking the maltiness might get in the way of the hop character; this is not the case and the hops and malt are both quite ample and play well together. This is definitely a beer I am enjoying quite a bit.

Gueuzedude, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +5.3%

MarkyMOD, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark red, with a long lasting white head, lots of lace, a little fizzy.

S: Fragrant and pungent with a lot of sweet malt and caramel.

T: Biscuity malt, with hop flavours of pine, cedar and cantaloupe. Not bad.

M: Smooth, elegant, soft carbonation which I like, medium-bodied.

D: Another solid effort from Ninkasi. In the end this turned out to be more of a sipper. While I haven't been blown away yet, the 2 beers I've had from them have been good.

Halcyondays, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely thick and heavy dark amber brown colour. Not a lot of red to it, but the head is something of a phenomenon: a big and frothy crest of pale orange. Minimal lacing, but the head is pretty exciting at least. Looks good.

Nose is pleasantly blended between roasted malt and sharp west coast hops. Citrus is present in abundance, particularly grapefruit, with a light grassiness, but it's mellowed by a nutty and dark roasted grain character that also lends a slight sweetness. It's a good example of a red ale nose; deeper and darker than an IPA, but with the same resolute hoppiness.

Taste is pleasantly balanced again. Hops are sharp on the front, giving a slightly astringent bitterness, but this is backed up with a round and pleasant roasted nut and caramel character through the back, which gives some deeper and slightly darker characters. Very pleasant.

Feel is clear but smooth, and the hoppiness clears out the back nicely.

Yeah, this is a nice beer. Plenty of character, well balanced, true to style, very drinkable. I enjoyed it a lot, and I'll look forward to trying more beers from Ninkasi.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber. Smooth caramel malt followed by a satisfying citrus bitterness. I would have liked more character from the malt, but that's just me. It certainly fits the average red ale malt profile and despite the "double" name, it's quite drinkable. The hops have a mild, fruity pineapple taste up front followed by a biting orange rind kick that pairs nicely with the bready caramel. A cool beer, check this out.

tempest, Jun 16, 2010
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Believer from Ninkasi Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.