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.
very good

147 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 492
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 22.28%
Wants: 30
Gots: 63 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

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: 147 | Hads: 492
Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this bottle around last season, but missed out. Then my wife picked me up some this year as a surprise gift.

A- Dark brown, sort of a mahogany color. The head is a tan tightly bubble head.

S- Smells good, kinda malty with a good spice note.

T- This is tasty, winter brew. I like the maltyness and spices that are playing there. There is a hop taste that is a bit bitter but doesn't seem to fit with the other tastes of the beer. I like the hop presence in this beer, but this is a bitterness that shouldn't be there.

M- Good feel, could use a touch more carbination.

D- Very drinkable, and tasty.

 608 characters

Photo of dvb
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown with hints of red. Light gets through, but not much. Frothy head with significant lacing.

S - Mmmm... malt and alcohol. Not much hop character detected in the aroma.

T - On the sweet side, which is not a bad thing. And at 50 IBU, it's just bitter enough. Pleasant alcohol level. Seems right on target for a 1.068 OG brew. Nice. Sort of like a Belgian double mixed with a British brown ale or darker bock.

M - Not too heavy, not too thin. A little stickiness on the lips. Slightly warming, but not overly so.

D - I just killed a bomber inside of an hour and could easily get started on another one... if I had one.

 638 characters

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK, ya know I'm a gonna have to do it...

Pours a dark rust colored amber as though the "Angel of Death" were "Raining Blood" into the glass...Two fingers of creamy smooth head dwindles "piece by piece" into a short crown, as though it were "necrophobic" and didn't wish to die....Medium carbonation promises some great drinking to come. Weird to say this, but it's a s though a Guinness Stout were laid upon the "altar of sacrifice" and all the aromas were captured and "reborn" into this ale. It's a near perfect copy, aroma-wise, of the World's best selling stout. Maybe, perhaps, "Jesus Saves" this from patent infringement through a couple of slight nuances, like a hint of allspice way in the back. You'd have to be "Criminally Insane" to think this didn't smell a lot like the aforementioned iconic ale of the Emerald Isle, though...maybe minus the super-heavy metallic notes of Guinness, though...The flavor is like a malt "epidemic" - very malt forward all through the drink, but particularly right upfront. There's a certain tang to it that, again, hearkens back to Guinness. I'm starting to get the feeling this isn't an accident...too much is similar. The malt tang gives way to a long, malty middle and then the hops kicks in, "postmortem" from the malt and leaves you with a nice, bitter wash. Not super cheap, not super expensive. Good beer, but unless you really like Guinness Stout, you'll think you spent too much money on the bottle.

What I like most: The Label artwork and beautiful appearance.

What I like least: the curious similarities to Guinness Stout.

Verdict: You can find this beer cheaper under a different name, but all old school Heshers have to drink it out of deference...

 1,708 characters

Photo of PDXHops
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Docer for this bomber, poured into a Duvel tulip. Exceedingly dark brown with a auburn tint. The foamy off-white head reduces fairly quickly, but a thick bubbly ring and islands remain. Scattered soapy lacing.

Rich malty nose- roasty, nutty and mildly sweet. Pleasant in a mild sort of way. Tastes a good deal more lively, with a fruity burst immediately followed by a surprising punch of herbal bitterness. Loads of maltiness- moderately sweet, plenty nutty and roasty, with a pronounced burnt quality to the otherwise clean finish. The viscous body seems to wrestle with the bitterness and a certain resiny grit. A few additional flavors reveal themselves right at the swallow- a touch of cocoa powder, a few raisins, a touch of citrus zest.

Overall impression: Perhaps not as smooth as it could be, but pretty tasty.

 831 characters

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.

 567 characters

Photo of philbertk
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ninkasi Brewing Company--SLEIGH'R Dark Double Alt Ale--Special Release! First Year in Bottles!--2009 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 7.20% ABV--50 IBU's. (4.15 / 5.0) Alt--Imperial--Starts clear bright dark ruby bronze red color with thin lace off white head. Sediment. Roasted floral hop front. Crisp zesty crusty mild sweet roasted malty spicy toasty dry thin toffee coffee nut hint body. Mild bitter hop clean rich end. Mild fruit hints. Complex. Sampled 1/9/2010. $5.75 Each.

Ninkasi Brewing Company--SLEIGH'R Dark Double Alt Ale--Seasonal Release!--2010. 7.20% ABV. 50 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Alt--Imperial? Lacy lasting big dense tight tan head. Deep dark ruby brown color. No sediment. Light roasted cocoa hint pine hop front. Creamy mild sweet smooth toasty roasty rich mild chocolate spicy big brown ale mildly resinous & chalky body. Mild satisfying smooth end. Sampled 22 oz. bottle purchased for $4.00 10/12/2010 @ Seattle, Fremont PCC on 10/29/2010

 950 characters

Photo of MagyarPuska
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 Batch. Chilled Bomber bought from University Market in Corvallis, OR. No date on the bottle.

A: Dark maroon/red pour from a bomber into a pint glass. White/Cream colored head that lasted a while, but nothing compared to a nitro. Lacing wasn't overly fine, leaving a ring towards the top of the glass and that's all.

S: Roasts, mild nuts and malts. Like with many winter beers I noticed a bit of spices. Not much hops to the nose, is there alcohol in this?

T: Slightly sweet roasted nuts, aftertaste is caramel and delicious. Spices that were noticed in the aroma aren't all the evident when drinking the beer, odd. Maybe time to recalibrate the old taster?

M: It's odd how every other sip yields a nip of alcohol, then it's gone in a flash. Quite a few bubbles can be felt on the tongue as well.

D: In the end this beer comes across as a sweeter one to me. I would only have one with a nicer dinner, but overall it wasn't heavy or overly alcoholic so it goes down really easily.

Overall Impression: Good beer, but nothing that will knock your socks off. Better seasonals out there, but enjoyable nonetheless.

 1,119 characters

Photo of Bfarr
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany with huge brown foamy head with good retention and lacing. Roasted malt and light caramel with herbal spice aroma. Very delicate malt character fluctuating between roasted malts, a little peat and something a little more bready, rye perhaps. Balance tips a bit in the end to a fairly dry moderate very light citrus hop flavor and bittering. Mouth feel is robust but with a moderate-high carbonation.

Fairly interesting flavors although they are a bit subdued as is proper for the style, except this is supposed to be a double. It seems very similar to Full Sail's wassail but I didn't taste it side by side but just had it recently. Easy to drink but not a whole lot to look forward to.

 701 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled '10 bomber into a glass. Purchased from K&L in Redwood City.

Also shared in '09 by ramnuts, but I never got around to reviewing it.

A: Pours a dark, but clear, maroon body capped by a fluffy light beige head. Great retention leaves sticky lace down the sides, with a thick collar and broken film adorning the brew. Some lace during sips. Nice.

S: Nuts, cocoa powder, oranges, green hops, raisins. Not altogether pungent, but it's broad and it's balanced.

T: Nuts, caramel, orange hops, some herbal bitterness. There's a strong baker's chocolate flavor along with lingering, earthy bitterness; they overwhelm the beer. Despite the bitterness, its finish is maltier than I expected; I was hoping for something cleaner. A bad expectation?

M: Almost a gritty, powdery texture that I didn't like, particularly since it made the bitterness stickier. It was unusual, though nothing seemed off when I poured a little into my hand (no floaties or anything). Just strange.

D: I remembered enjoying it last year, but this one is a bit of a letdown.

 1,056 characters

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.

 801 characters

Photo of Flightoficarus
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to trying this one!

A - Pours a deep, dark brown (almost black), with a two-finger off-white head. Head retention and lacing is on the creamy/thick side.

S - Alot going on here! Caramel, molasses, cocoa, nuttiness, a hint of fruits (orange, cherry), and subtle hops.

T - Superbly balanced. Taste is of roasted, cocoa/coffee like malts with some nutty and smoked/peat like tones (like a scotch ale), and finishes with a bouquet of subtle, floral hops. Right around the middle ground between malty and hoppy.

M - Medium bodied and light carbonation, with a semi-bready texture to it.

D - Pretty drinkable for 7.2%, but I still wouldn't session it.

Overall - A nice little gem in the winter ale/altbier categories, and with a rad name to boot! If you're looking for a solid, balanced beer that's on the darker side without being quite as bitter/roasted tasting as a porter or stout, you'll enjoy this one.

 933 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz from Fred Meyer. S.Salem. Attractive brown with red accents. Nice looking bubbly tan head Nice malty aromas..caramel,coffee and some nuttiness. Deep malt driven flavours, coffee, dark chocolate WalnutsTouch of spicy hop at the end. LIked the palate on this one..its complex yet highly drinkable. Overall a nice malty beer for the winter. ,

 345 characters

Photo of ricke49
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - nice dark red color with a moderate head

smell - somewhat subdued compared to other Ninkasi offerings, primarily because of a minor amount of hop influence.

taste - a very smooth nicely balance malty flavor with some sweetness, clipped off just right by a background hop note.

mouthfeel - silky smooth

drinkability - excellent....perfect for a 7.2 abv brew - just up to the point of being boozy, without being so.

This is a delightful fall/winter beer, and my favorite Ninkasi brew to date. Reasonably good buy at $3.59 per bomber (still that's eqivalant to $11.75 per six-pack....which seems real high when I can pick up Jubelale for a $7 per six-pack all winter long).

 688 characters

Photo of John_M
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Claudia's the other day.

Sleigher pours a darkish rootbeer color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty pungent and spice filled, showing pepper, light sweet malt, clove, and crushed holly leaves. On the palate, the clove and holly just seems a bit much for me, espeically with the considerable hoppy bitterness. I think a bit more sweetness would help make this beer more enjoyable, as it otherwise comes across as dry, lean and spice filled. The combination of spices gives this beer something of a licorise flavor, which at least for me, was not all that pleasing in this flavor profile. The alcohol is (thankfully) not very noticeable in this beer, which is something I appreciate, but I just felt the excessive spice and hoppy bitterness did not play very well together.

Not a bad beer, but just not really my cup of tea.

 856 characters

Photo of mj001jk
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a thick and creamy hazel-colored foam. Coffee, roasted marshmallows, caramel and a whiff of fresh hops escape the rim and hit my nose. Well balanced and fresh smelling which is nice and surprising.

The smooth nose continues on the palate where each component of roasted malts, hops and alcohol blend harmoniously, creating a very enjoyable beer; especially if you happen to sit in front of a fireplace during a cold winter night. It is delicate, yet robust in its composition, successfully creating an alt beer which has gone to the Dark Side.

 561 characters

Photo of velosuds
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating evident. Purchased for $3.79 at local regional grocer.

A-Pours a dark amber hue with a one and a half finger, light tan head. Modest retention with good lacing.

S-Caramel malt aroma with dark fruits, and some piney and citric hops. Pleasant.

T-Toasted caramel and chocolate malts with fruitcake type fruit and spice flavors.

M-Very smooth and balanced.

D-This is a very drinkable winter seasonal since it has a lot of flavor but is not filling. 7.2% ABV is masked very well. Competitively priced bomber at $3.79 to $3.99 but would be better if available in sixers of 12 oz. bottles.

 661 characters

Photo of GreenCard
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown/gold, good clarity, thick layer of dense tan foam with great retention, lace

Aroma: biscuity malt, grain dust, cinnamon

Flavor: medium malt sweetness with hints of Mexican chocolate and a piney hop flavor; also roasted hazelnuts; finishes semisweet with a mellow, herbal hop bitterness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, smooth texture, gentle carbonation

Other comments: The ABV is well hidden because the alcohol warmth is pretty understated, hitting you really late and kind of deep in the chest. A nice winter seasonal.

 562 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tuttle for breaking this out the night before Hopfest! Went into it thinking, ah, I dunno, not my style/thing, but figured, hey, good friend, opening beers, love Ninkasi, made it easy to go along.

Poured out a rich dark brown and red, but with ample clarity given its deep color. Very interesting aroma, maybe just because of the Christmas theme, I was getting caramel nuttiness, cinammon, taragon, tobacco, pepper, spice/clove. Really deep.

Taste, so much easier than I thought it would be. And more sweetness, but never becoming a 'sweet' beer, ample malt bill and other ingredients seemed to tame this bad boy. Nothing about hops to talk about. About the dryest finish of a beer of this style/vibe I've come around, not heavy, creamy at times, not super challenging, just lots to pick up on. Unique. When the wave of smooth and creamy hits you, you start wondering if there is some flaked oats used in this. Whatever they did, it was enjoyable.

Of course, it looks like a winter seasonal, we drank it in September, so i dunno if this aged and mellowed or whatnot, because that split bomber is my only insight, so I guess at the very least I can say this beer does just fine aged up to 9 months.

 1,211 characters

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

22oz bottle poured into a large mug. Don't remember when or where I bought this bottle. I hope it's in good shape.

Pours a dark, rich brown with a big frothy beige head, looks like it's leaving some magnificent lacing down the sides of the glass. Looks fairly translucent, carbonation is not very active. Smell is nutty, rich, and malty.

Taste has a strange sourness to it which isn't too great, but it's nutty and bready, with a thick bitterness that is hard for me to describe, but it's pretty pleasant.

Mouthfeel is not too thick, but a little sticky. Tasty, drinkable beer.

 580 characters

Photo of pwoody11
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hasn't been many reviews lately and the label states first time ever bottled, so i can only assume I've been sitting on this bottle for about 9 months. I can't remember when or how I got this, but it has definitely been stored properly.

Poured a dark brown with an amber tint, a little light comes through but nearly zero. 1/2 finger head that sits a little creamy leaving behind decent lacing.

Initial nose sheds a cookie like smell. I cant pinpoint what kind. Choc Chip or Oatmeal is what I'm leaning towards. Chocolate Chip Oatmeal? Some burnt dark fruit is on hand as well. Coffee is present as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium carbonation. I likey.

Taste is similar to the nose. First thing that comes to mind is part ale, part stout. Malts are easily detectable and are in the forefront, but the hops are not left out and are nicely represented.

Solid brew. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I am.

Worth checking out.

 946 characters

Photo of squaremile
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 6 month old bottle. Pours a diet coke caramel brown with a small head that remains for awhile. Smell is faint sugar cookie and yeast. Taste is mild and pleasant. Most of the hop bitterness present fresh has disappeared but has left a sweet and refreshing drink. Figs, fruitcake, apricot, brown sugar. The mouthfeel is thin and appropriate for the style. Pretty dry finish. The alcohol is very well hidden. A pleasant beer, ignore the letter rating.

 458 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown with one inch of off white head and light lacing. Medium carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet malts, dark fruit, bready malts.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, bready malts, dark fruit, and roasted malts. Little bit of a bitterness to it as well.

m - Medium mody and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

d - I thought this was a decent beer. Some nice roasted and sweet malts but nothing really jumpoed out about it to me. Would give another shot.

 530 characters

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.

 1,629 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice shade of brown with a cream colored head. Very light lace is noted.

S: Aromas of sweet malt, nutty toffee, and light spice.

T: Sweet malty start with hints of nuts, dark fruit, with a dash of herbal hops in the finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth,

D: Okay, not a favorite of mine, but drinkable nonetheless.

 326 characters

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

On draught at Henry's, Sleigh'r is mahogany with a fluffy off-white head with long last, leaving heavy sheets of creamy, foamy lace. Very nice.

Smell is very pure malt, not overly sweet, with a bit of toast, like the robust brown ale that it is.

Taste is similar, nice and rich, but balanced maltiness, clean with a pleasant warming sensation the only indication of the ABV.

Mouthfeel is creamy, with a medium body.

Drinkability is good, this is a nice malty brown, very well made, satisfying but dangerously smooth.

 524 characters

Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.