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Believer - Ninkasi Brewing Company


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

359 Ratings
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 Reidrover


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

Dark brown,slightly reddish complexion, nice looking dirty white head. Very nice hoppy strong aroma, piney, floral, great Nice hoppyness in the taste too..pretty dominanat though to be honest the semi-sweet malt profile is large. There seems to be a battle in my mouth bewteen the two, it ends in an uneasy truce as the hops fade out half way down the throat. Very nice. Good smooth palate, slightly sticky but alcohol well hidden. LIked this one a lot, not up with Arrogant Bastard, but would like to taste fresh at brewery

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2008 20:58:28 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

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

Apparently the Sumerians praised the goddess Ninkasi for the miracle of fermentation. It is indeed a wonderful process, and I do hope this beer is worthy of worship. I also love that I can pretend this beer is named after the great metal band Believer...to the pour...

Thin and creamy light-tan head leaves strings and dots of lace all around the glass, while the color is a rusted reddish-brown.

Aroma gives equal time to malt, hops and something akin to a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Quite toasty, even reminding of fried dough. I recently had a beer that tried to emulate the flavor of a chocolate donut and it sucked. This, however, reminds me of a fresh-basked donut.

Flavor fills the mouth with a familiar NW hops layer that doesn't quit. It's nice, although a bit too grassy, without the balance I'd expect the malt to provide. Grassy astringency hangs out in the finish, brash and unceasing. Feels like it'll coat the inside of my mouth forever. Brief flashes of sugary spices peek through, but there's really no getting through the rough and raw hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is nicely soft, just enough carbonation to feel it but it's more about buttery lightness, which helps the bitter flavor ride through even stronger.

An enjoyable slice of the Pacific northwest, Believer takes me back to my Oregon visit last year. Has the signature rawness that I found in various brewpubs out there (New Old Lompoc, Lucky Labrador, and Amnesia, among others). Unfortunately the flavor seems to lack balance. I love hop-bombs, but this isn't even that. It's just not well balanced. More malt, please!

[Thanks to msubulldog25 for this bottle. Go Cubs!]

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 19:24:16 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of tayner


3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle

Poured dark brown/ruby red tint with a creamy colored head, lots of sticky lace.

Smells of bitter, over-roasted almonds.

Taste is up front some citrus hop flavors, lots of grapefruit and some lemon peels. It finishes with a sort of rancid nut oil flavor and some burnt husk flavors. The flavors are not all that pleasing and linger on and on.

This one has plenty of carbonation to keep the mouthfeel from being heavy, but still a full feel.

I managed to get down this one bomber, but I cant help but feel that someone over-roasted the grains on this one, and not in a good, I want this beer dark and flavorful kind of way but more of a rancid, old stale pecan kind of way.

I have really enjoyed the other two ninkasi brews I have had thus far, and I am thankful this wasnt the first one I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 00:52:30 | More by tayner
Photo of Dubbercody


3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Nice beer, a bit hoppier than I was expecting, but it's nice. Nice reddish brown color. Quite resiny.

Interesting beer, although not my favorite, but I'll have to try it on tap to see if that makes a difference. It's one that grew on me. The second half of the 22 oz bottle I enjoyed more....

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2008 05:04:22 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4/5  rDev +5.5%
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...".

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2008 15:35:38 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of ohmybock


2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2008 00:05:23 | More by ohmybock
Photo of cjgator3


4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark brown color with dark reddish hues with a thin light tan head that creates a ring of lacing around the glass. The aroma is piney hops along with sweet malt and caramel. The taste starts out with sweet toasted malt, but is quickly accompanied by a good dose of leafy hops that lingers well after the end of the sip. Overall, Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale is a really nice and hoppy PacNW brew that is recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2008 04:05:26 | More by cjgator3
Photo of russpowell


3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 05:40:53 | More by russpowell
Photo of bitterthebetter


3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a rich dark brown with reddish undertones and beige bubbly head.

rich caramel malt and pine hops dominate the aroma with slight citrusy undertones

upfront piney hops lead to smooth caramel malt and then back to persisting hops on the finish. slight brown sugar notes.

tingly on the mouthfeel with good strong body, crisp hops and a medium yet never too heavy body.

nice and smooth, finish endures longer than the first sip lets on.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2008 01:35:34 | More by bitterthebetter
Photo of smttycty


3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first sample from the much talked about brewer Jamie Floyd. From a 22 oz. bomber to my long-necked snifter, this is a deep, deep ruby colored ale with a short lived custard hued crown. Minimal lacing but longish legs. The aroma is full of piney hops, a touch of smokey orange essence like a splash of Grand Marnier, and a soft note of tart fruit (pomegranate?).

The flavors are hop-forward, piney and citrus, supported by a mellow oaky malt base. That faint tart fruit is dancing off on the side of the palette as well. Though rare, I like when the aroma matches with the flavors. The finish is a gentlemanly bitter affair with out brashness. A very nice display of hoppy flavors without the 2x4 whack to the palette.

The medium body of this beer is softly effervescent as it swirls around but feels more tingly as it washes away. A finely crafted ale with nice subtleties. I will look for this on tap.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 09:13:30 | More by smttycty
Photo of ATLbeerDog


3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful red/copper color with a below average head, average lacing and average carbonation. The dominate smell is heavy citrusy floral hops and mild malts. First taste is light, sweet, and a mild crisp hoppy note. Light in body and taste. Not bad - not remarkable either.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2008 03:44:44 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of beermebeerman


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had my frist one this morning. Maybe it's just my personal opinion but to me this is really just an IPA dressed up at a double red. Don't get me wrong, its not bad, but I don't see how this is fundamentally different from a big English style IPA.

Pour was pretty, head was small and retention was worse than I would expect. Nice copper colored body and cream colored head.

Smell was the first thing I really noticed, Northwest hops filled the air and got me all excited for the first gulp, but...

Taste was not what I was expecting. I wanted more of a malt profile. Maybe it was the yeast/hops combo but I didn't get a big 'double red' malt taste. Not bad, just not to the style I was expecting.

Mouthfeel was good. it felt like I was drinking a meal, there's the 'double.' Finished slightly sweet. Liked it.

Drinkability is high, especially paired with the right food. All in all not a bad beer, but a little short of what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2008 00:00:07 | More by beermebeerman
Photo of jakon


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

22oz bottle purchased for $3.99 on 4-4-8 at Cedar Hills New Seasons.

This beer pours a very dark reddish brown color with a forced two-finger tan head the reduces to nothing while leaving behind solid wash of lacing.

The aroma is big on the crystal malt while the hops come through prominently as well with an inviting fruity/earthy presence. The taste features a light bitterness which is balanced by a definite caramel/cane sugar sweetness. There's a bit of a roasted coffee flavor in there as well. The alcohol is nearly imperceptible.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 06:52:48 | More by jakon
Photo of cswhitehorse


4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Believer Double Red Ale poured a beautiful red hued goodness with a two finger foam head and some sweet lacing.

The aroma was excellent on the hop presence and a slight maltiness. The taste was excellent it gave you the solid malt of a red but with a more dominant hop in your face ness. In the mouth is left you with a good bitterness and slightly sweet taste on the tongue. Overall another wicked good beer from the boys from Eugene.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2008 05:08:44 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of SurlyDuff


4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ooh, an IRA!

Dark mahogany wood stain color. Quickly disspoving head.

Hoppy aroma, bitter notes.

Sweet caramelized burnt moassass/sugar flavor. Not what I expected. Almost smokey malt presence in the beginning, and then in the late taste and aftertaste, a shock of bitterness takes over. Not really any herbal or floral hop presence, just a bitterness. This one is probably dryhopped for the aroma, but the main hopping takes place early in the brew, producing a reall bitter finish.

Drinkability is okay.

Overall, quite a unique and tasty brew!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 03:11:25 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle says 6.9% abv.
Deep mahogany color, big frothy light brown head.

Lots of sweet caramel and roasted barley smells. Spicy woodsy hops there also.

Mouthfeel is very soft and smooth on this medium-heavy brew.

Taste is sweet and toasty caramalts and roasted barley thats balanced by spicy herbal/woody hops with a hint of citrus peel.

Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2008 18:08:48 | More by BeerZack
Photo of mattmaples


4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber / red in color, its aroma is hoppy upfront with toasted malts. The flavor is well bittered with a citrusy earthy hop. The malt is lightly of chocolate cake and bread. I'm a big fan of the Believer as it is aggressively flavored but well balanced malt to hops.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 00:51:17 | More by mattmaples
Photo of sinistermadman


3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber/brown in color with minimal head. Subtle, but pleasant aroma of hops and earthy malt. I've had this on tap, but first time trying the new bottle...

Nice hop bittering upfront, with citrus rind twang in tow. Solid, husky, toasted malt body that balances out the hop profile. Quite drinkable at 6.9%. Medium full mouthfeel with a slightly toasty, almost chocolate tinged aftertaste. Doesn't linger too long, just enough to be pleasant. I'm glad to see Ninkasi is bottling, and also glad the beers are at the market next door because I'd like another. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2008 01:34:00 | More by sinistermadman
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Believer from Ninkasi Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.