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Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt AleSleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

166 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 166
Hads: 554
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 21.75%
Wants: 31
Gots: 87 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

Style | ABV
Altbier | 7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 01-08-2009

Called 'Dark Double Alt' on the label.

Ninkasi website:
"7.2% alc./vol. 50 ibus."
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 166 | Hads: 554
Photo of Auraan
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Poured a clear, deep brown body with reddish tint when held to light and a one finger bubbly off-white head. A very nice looking, true to form altbier. Scents of rich, sweet malt, light fruity esters reminiscent of apple and grape and a medium level of Noble hop perfume, floral and spicy, especially pepper, aromas. Overall impression of aroma is of a classic, very well executed Dusseldorf Altbier that hits the style exactly. Extremely well done. Flavor begins moderately bitter with a floral and perfume-like Noble hop presence evident, a light fruitiness that matches the aroma and a medium-light level of sweet malt. This moves into a middle with the same Noble hop character, but adds a more pronounced and complex malt flavor that is sweet and slightly bready in character. Fruity ester flavors are still present, still light and still apple with a bit of grape. Finish is medium-dry with a moderate Noble hop character and prominent hop bitterness, light fruity esters of apple, light toasted malt and nuttiness and a clean finish. Aftertaste is moderately bitter with a medium-light presence of sweet, bready, grainy and biscuity malt flavors. Overall impression of flavor is of a nicely done Dusseldorf Altbier that trends towards the bitter end of the style, yet fits it quite nicely. Well executed and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of an excellent and true to form Dusseldorf Altbier. Overall this is a good Altbier. It is very true to style and pleasant in aroma, flavor and mouthfeel. It is a nicely done, aromatic, flavorful ale and quite nice.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Pours a deep copper color with a tight, off-white head that leaves little chunks of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits and some toasted malt.

Tastes of the dark fruits layered with booze and bread. Dark fruit notes lead off with notes of fig and plum. Toasted malts add in next with cocoa, toffee, and brown sugar. Booze adds in before a bit of earthy hoppiness adds in. Finishes with a bit of smoke and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is tasty and worth checking out.

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Photo of RedBiddy
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great beer has got to be the #1 reason to live in the Northwest. Ninkasi is producing some remarkable contributions to the craft beer legend here. The dark couble alt, Sleighr, is a worthy offering. Beautiful mahogany color, nice enduring lacing, malty without tasting like my mom's drop bisquits. Smoth mouthfeel and perfect carbonation. Makes my day.

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Photo of hopqaman
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

Being a slayer fan I was super excited about this one.

A: pours an extremely dark brown with a very thin quickly disapating white head.

S: Not much going on in the nose. A bit of nuttiness, caramel malts, and a bit of cocoa Smells a bit festive would be a good way to describe this. Nothing overpowering.

T: nutty, a bit malty with slight coffee notes. with a very pronounced hop bitterness at the end that surprised me because I couldn't detect any hops in he nose. I like it a lot.

M: thin carbonation wish it was a bit more viscous. It left my lips a bit sticky.

Overall: I had high hopes for a beer that bared the name of the almighty thrash lords known as slayer. It did not let me down. I need to blast some altar of sacrifice while I enjoy this. I'd recommend this beer to any metal or hop head.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased in Dec been ageing. Loved it in Dec hopefully it works even better now. Poured into standard pint.

A: dark red/brown like a the child of a red ale and a porter. Not much head from this 7.5 month old bottle and a sparse cap. Leaving adequate lacing.

S: Ethanol and dark malt. Big chocolate on the nose too. Reminds me of a 16% stout I once loved.

T: lots of chocolate taste, a little roasty, and a bit like slightly burned biscuits. The hops have setteled down a bit from what I remember but still there. A slight bitter note at the end then ethanol warming.

M: thicker side of medium with just enough chew. Smooth with just a bit of carbonation.

O: Good stuff at this age, the alcohol seems to be stronger and the hops a little less. Might have let it sit a little too long but it is still one of my favorites.

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Photo of vkv822
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle into pint glass.

Pours a clear, medium brown color with some faint amber hues. There is rising carbonation and a slightly off white head that dissipates into a thin layer of foam.

The aroma is of robust, lightly roasted, nutty and lightly sweet malts with a very faint hop profile.

The hops come forward quite a bit more in the flavor with herbal and pine notes, though the roasted nutty, caramel malts are still very present. The hop and malt notes blend really nicely.

The mouthfeel is fairly average, medium body with fairly strong carbonation.

I usually find beers similar to this style usually are a bit tougher for me to drink through, though I found this beer extremely easily drinkable and pleasant. A very nice winter seasonal and one I will look forward to enjoying again.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep mahogany, fairly rich in appearance with a moderate tan head that fades to leave some lacing.
Smells pretty nice actually, with fruity notes largely of sweet pear, banana, and there's also a hint of some spice, light cinnamon/ nutmeg.
Taste is toasty malts, a good balance of hops, underlying dark fruit, and some peppery banana. The pepper note lingers through the finish, leaving a mildly numbing bitterness. What a great balance of sweet and bitter throughout it all. There's a surprising complexity for me here.
Well-carbonated and medium-chewy feel.
This is a terrific departure from the usual over-abundance of certain other styles. A holiday winner.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 into tulip...

A: Pours a dark amber bordering on chocolate, ruby hints in the light, creamy tan head forms two fingers and leaves pretty good lacing as it falls, head retention is really pretty good, very pillowy.

S: Light caramel malt, toasty biscuit yeast profile, leather and faint tobacco, very earthy for an alt style. No real hop presence, surprising from Ninkasi, they usually dump them in by the bucketful regardless of the style...

T: Taste follows the nose very similarly, well balanced caramel malt, very toasty biscuit, tobacco and leather comes through a little more and adds to the complexity. The hops are present in the taste and come through in the finish to provide some nice bitters and crisp everything up. As it warms up more dark fruit flavors are noticed on the front of palate, definitely pick up on figs. Very nice flavor profile over all.

M: Very smooth, medium body with nice carbonation. Head retention throughout beer provides a nice creaminess that makes it even smoother and the alcohol is never noticed making this 7.2% brew very drinkable.

D: Very smooth and drinkable and as stated the abv goes unnoticed and the hops make it refreshingly crisp. Very well done Ninkasi. This is a solid altbier and very representative of the style, just wish it had a little more uniqueness for a winter beer, but can't fault it for style points.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gotta dig the Slayer logo font, a band my youth would have never been the same without. (The old stuff still rules!) And gotta dig msubulldog25, who sent this my way, a guy my beer experience would be lacking without.

This is a beautiful beer, plain and simple. Deep burgundy red shoots through dark brown. Rusty root beer jeweled in crimson. The head is a light tan, super foamy and super creamy.

Great nose, too. Piney hops embedded in a spicy holiday ale melange. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. They could have just as easily sold this as a winter warmer. Aroma-wise, anyway.

Taste-wise, hops are prickly and ever-present, yet never eclipse the spicy, malty character that is the main essence of this beer. Those nice holiday pie-type spices pop through and reign as the features of the flavor. Hints of cola, bitter herbal tea and purple grape.

Thinnish body, but hardly watery, and the ample carbonation keeps it alive and kicking.

I'm not an alt expert, but this one is clearly more northwest winter warmer, or even American red, than an authentic German altbier. Seems to me anyway. And that's just fine, because it's the quality that counts, and this one delivers.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a deep amber to light brown color. wonderful garnet hues. a finger or so of an off white head forms. good strong retention and leaves behind a frothy lacing. strong brightness and clarity when held up to the light. a really nice looking beer.

Smell: strong malts, with notes of nuts, caramel, chocolate, and a hint or roastiness. some fruitiness comes through, possibly from yeast or malts, not quite sure.

Taste: opens up with some fruity esters, notes of apples to pear, possibly some dark fruits. malts take over with big notes of chocolate, toasted grains, some nuttiness, and a hint of roastiness. light alcohol presence. hops may play a minor role in some flavors but never apparent enough to pick out individually.

Mouthfeel: nice full malty body. medium to full feel. some chewiness to it. exceptionally smooth and clean. hop bitterness is moderate. slightly warming feel.

Overall: certainly a style that is almost missing from the American craft beer scene, if not my area at the least. This beer does a great job of pushing the boundaries of the style while still keeping close to the things that matter most about it. In my opinion this is what the Sticke is all about. Overall this beer is a great addition to the area and something that will certainly be picked up again.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber received in the latest with james...

a-pours a dark cola brown color with ample carb bubbles as it fills the glass....small one finger slight off white head..

s-rich nutty malts...reminds me a lot of naughty goose....chocolaty and roast...

t-zero hops..this is all malt...rich caramel and toffee...some nougat and a bit of nuttiness...finishes rich

m-creamy and smooth...carbonation is great and this really coats the mouth well...

d-easy drinking and would def seek this out again

overall another solid brew sent my way...thanks again bro

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown with vibrant ruby highlights when held up to light. Solid two finger light brown head with excellent retention. Leaves behind sheets of brown foam as I drink it.

S - Rich, nutty maltiness with an earthy spice to it. A touch of sweet caramel comes through as the beer warms. A faint floral hoppiness deep down in it as well.

T - Roasted nuts and lots of malt up front. An earth spiciness lies underneath. Lots of roasted malt throughout, especially as the beer warms. A touch of tobacco gives it a little edge. Light bitterness in the finish.

M/D - Medium bodied and very easy going. The tastes all play together very well.

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Photo of industrialswill
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This could very well be my first double dark alt. It's quite good.
Dark brown, nicely carbonated. The smell hints of hoppyness and roasted malt. Very smooth and balanced beer.
This bomber didn't last very long!
Another winner from Ninkasi and a nice way to treat yourself on a cold, grey winter night.

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Photo of Offa
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent, full-bodied beer, fairly balanced, interesting with good complexity.

Very dark copper-brown, it has a medium tan head steadily shrinking to a creamy thin top, then foamy ring and a little lace.

Aroma is dark caramelised, very toasty barley with dry leaves, hint of wood, very toasty and caramelly overall with hint of caramelised bacon.

Taste is a lot of toasted barley (singed, almost burnt), caramelised dry leaves and wood, black pepper. A burnt-pepper bitterness just dominates dark toffee sweetness at finish but backs off before becoming too bitter. Bitterness lingers with some hints of sweet, dark dried fruits and a light winey element. Bitterness is just a touch too assertive at end but it has good character and flavour. Feel is good, solid, not heavy.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Ninkasi Brewing Co. "SLEIGH'R Dark Doüble Alt)
12 oz. brown glass bottle, no freshness dating
$1.99 @ Wegmans, Malvern, PA

You've got to hand it to Ninkasi, they've done a great job with the name and label on this beer. I just couldn't pass it up.

Now, it doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of Altbier, either, and that I've traveled to German, so I can honestly say that in my opinion they've nailed the style.

But what style? Well of course this is a "DOÜBLE" alt ale (I think we can forgive them for the false umlaut because "Sleigh'r" obviously references heavy metal, and they're just joking with it), and the obvious connections would be Zum Uerige's Sticke Alt and Doppelsticke, or even Schumacher's Latzenbier (although not nearly as strong), but what I'm getting at is that the malt and yeast character are correct. You could go back and forth all day doing comparisons and trying to place it, but why bother? It's an alt, and a strong one at that.

It's a very dark mahogany in color, mainly clear, and it displays a short head of tan. The aroma offers notes of plum and other not-so-drescript dark fruits over an almost-burnt sugar-like maltiness (German examples tend to display more noble hops). It's medium bodied and smooth with a fine-bubbled, slightly restrained carbonation (German examples seem to be fuller and a bit more carbonated, even "vom fass"). It's fairly well-hopped at 50 IBUs, with a surprising balance between bitterness and nutty, toasty, and darkly caramelish malts, and notes of roasted, but not acrid, malt also help to balance it. What hops are present in the flavor appear grassy and herbal, and perhaps even spicy (although that might be the 7.2% ABV talking!).

It's really nicely pulled together. Balancing an alt this perfectly can be a challenge, but they've done it, and kept it remarkably drinkable even at 7.2%. Worth trying!

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Photo of Stigs
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours with a bit over a finger of slightly creamy, thick light tan colored foam. the beer is mostly clear, very deep amber in color. small patches of wet lace left behind.

S - rich chocolately malts, toasted nuts, crusty bread, and malted candies.

T - begins with traces of porter-like roasted malt, chocolate, roasted nuts and a slight bit of coffee before turning sweeter. caramel, toffee, and some dark fruits creep in. light bit of citrusy and earthy hops come alongside moderate bitterness.

M - thin to medium bodied, with moderate and fizzy carbonation. sweetness brings some dryness as well, though goes down a bit oily. finish only slightly chalky.

D - nice balance, warming but not harsh, and overall pretty tasty. very well suited for the winter months.

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Photo of ebrauser
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 to a pint glass

Appearance: Reddish brown with a thick, slightly tan head that bounces a little with a touch. The beer itself is crystal clear and leaves a slight lacing

Aroma: Spicy and woody, full but not particularly rich.

Flavor: Spicy with lots of dark fruits abounding within the malt. A little syrupy sweet with brown sugar, though hops break through to wrap up the taste with bitterness then spice.

Mouthfeel: About a 3/5 thickness but not coating. Feels a lot like a root beer.

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Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and dark amber color with a nice white head, decent lacing as well.

Aromas are of baked apples, roasted malts, caramel, and earthy hops.

Taste is very malty, some cocoa, caramel, toasty dark breads, and baked apples. Finish is crisp, warming, with earthy hop flavors. This beer seems very fitting for cold weather.

Mouthfeel is good, full, smooth, and with snappy carbonation.

Drinkability is quite high. This is another solid beer, from a very nice lineup from Ninkasi. As mentioned before, this beer is a nice example of the "winter warmer" style.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never."

--Yiddish proverb

Orange juice infused pecan brown that becomes glowing russet when backlit with bright morning sunshine. The upper third of the glass is filled with an attractive chunk of golden beige hued foam that has a moonscape surface and is sticky enough to lay down chunks and thick sheets of lace.

The nose is toasted and earthy and musky and herbal. Not quite as dark as a brown ale, more like a Double Dark Alt (just as the label says). It smells a little Oktoberfestish, only more interesting. This could be pretty good stuff.

Like most everything from Ninkasi Brewing, Sleigh'r is damn good beer. The name and the label don't really match the style, but so what. There are plenty of heavily spiced and highly hopped winter brews already. There's nothing wrong with a delicious change of pace once in a while.

This characterful brew works because malt flavor and sweetness is perfectly balanced by hop flavor and bitterness. Flavors include toasted brown bread covered with shredded tea leaves, ripe apricot, bitter citrus peel and a hint of black pepper. Most alts aren't this fruity or this complex.

While the mouthfeel is on the lighter side for the ABV, it's so impressively soft and creamy that the score seen above was an easy call. Everything is working so well in combination that drinkability is through the roof.

With the possible exception of Tricerahops Double IPA, everything that I've had from this brewery has been as solid as granite. Sleigh'r is a pretty cool name, but this is a beer that should be available all year round.

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Photo of RickS95
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber brown in color with plenty of clarity. Fits the style. The head is what's gorgeous and really makes the score here. It's a creamy foam up top. Different sized bubbles, but cream is the word of the day. Decent retention from the finger and a half thick head, the color is a light tan. Full lace.

All malt. Smells like dessert. Caramel, milk chocolate, expresso scents come wafting up. No sign of hops, it really does smell like a yummy dessert.

The scents in the nose becomes flavors on the tongue with the caramel, chocolate, and coffee being accounted for. However, the chocolate is more bittersweet and the coffee is no longer sweet. Hop presence is clearly noted/Noble.

An initial burst of sweetness from all the malt is quickly offset by plenty of bittering agents. It's got some balance, though the overall score favors bitterness over sweetness. For a while, it smooth and creamy, but that gives way to a strong, lingering bitterness. All the while you can feel the sweetness trying to make a comeback, but the bitter is just a little stronger.

Overall, it's a really good beer and shouldn't necessarily be a winter beer as this would be good year round with that dry bitter finish. Really happy a friend from just north of the Washington-Oregon state line sent me this.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: reddish amber, maybe more like a light crimson with brown edges. Not much for head but did contain a thin and filmy lace starring back at me from the opposite side of the glass

S: husky and sweet roasted malts, toasted nuts (peanuts), caramel sweetness

T: husky dark roasted malts with sweetness of soft chocolate and strong caramel. Flavors of toasted redskin peanuts in the mix. Reminds me of the nuts that were under the heat lamp in the stainless steel trays, at the candy store....oh yeah. Beer is very well balanced and delightful

M: smooth, just a bit dry, crisp and yet creamy characteristics. Overall a clean, mild body and pleasing throughout

D: easily drinkable! I got this one on draft at the Belmont Station and they served it at the correct temp allowing the flavors to really challenge the palate. Wonderful beer!

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I guess this one's technically a "Sticke" what with the slightly higher alcohol content, more robust malt presence, and bolder hop character than is called for in a regular Altbier. Poured this fellow into a "Stange," as this is the suggested appropriate glassware. In my eyes, it would seem more at home in a standard pint, a stein, or even a snifter. No matter, a good ale either way. Its color is a fairly clear copper-brown, reminded me of a scotch ale at first, but then I decided it was a lighter hue than the ruby-brown of that style. The head, from the side, is a uniformly-bubbled, light brown, but becomes whiter, chunkier, and finer towards the top. To me this indicates a relatively high viscosity, with some of the beer's body sticking to the medium-sized bubbles forming the head before trickling down. Head retained well. Aromatically it is definitely akin to a scotch ale, but not on the smokier/peatier side of that style. Just caramelized and toasted malts, some alcohol, and after a few whiffs, calling to mind first molasses, then brown sugar and cocoa. Toasted, somewhat smokey-tart maltiness is the first thing you notice once you finally imbibe. The sweetness is there, but not nearly as much as you might expect from the aroma. There are also notes of something fruity, strongest on the sides of the back of the tongue. Can't quite put my finger on it. With settling; bitter, piney hops balance out, and with swallowing; overcome, the malt character. This rich, smooth, medium- to full-bodied brew, with pleasant carbonation is one I'm glad I became acquainted with. Lots to notice here and I'm sure I missed something.

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Photo of KBomb
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A wonderfully colored beer: dark brown body that's nearly black, but a beautiful shade of crimson glows as light filters through the edges. A bold aroma of crystal malt and that distinct laggery alt smell. Taste is the moderately sweet alt flavor we expect and well balanced with an amped up dose of hops. The beer's only downside is that the hop flavor is a little one-dimensional, leaving a bitter aftertaste that lacks some character. Still, a flavorful beer with voluptuous texture. Great winter drinking when one needs a break from the typical winter stouts and ales.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a stunningly striking dark caramel brown. Voluminous two-plus finger head has impressive retention and leaves behind some beautiful lacing. wow.

aroma is fair... not as pungent as expected, but bright caramel malt, hints of vanilla, maybe a hint of dark cherry sweetness. Earthy and rustic. Smells pretty Altbier-like. Interesting.

Taste is beautifully balanced. Mellow and smooth yet still powerful, spicy and full flavored. malty yet there's still some substantial hopping. Sweet yet bitter, mellow yet pungent. Really well balanced, as a true Alt should be. just as the label implies, it's a good bit stronger than an average Alt, but the characteristics really shine through.

Mouth is full with some piquant bitterness hitting the tongue up front, then the caramel sweetness caresses the palette. A bit on the carbonated side but it fits the flavors nicely.

All in all, this is a pretty impressive brew. It doesn't really fit the name, nor the label, as it's neither heavy metal nor holiday spiced, but it's one impressively delicious brew that's definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes on 2.18.11.

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Brownish amber with red edges. Off-white head that lingers. Good lacing.

S - Mostly boozy here.

T - Nutty, Spicey, and slightly like ginger bread.

D - Drinks extremely easy and smooth.

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Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.