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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.
very good

152 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 152
Hads: 504
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 22.02%
Wants: 30
Gots: 74 | 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
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Reviews: 152 | Hads: 504
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark 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 toasted malt and caramel. Taste is much the same with a herbal hop flavor on the finish. There is a medium 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 but I am liking the smell over the taste.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal dark copper with a thin light tan head.

Nose is light fruity esters, pleasant but mild Nose gives way to some nice smoke, light coffee and roasted malt.

Medium to full mouthfeel with nice balance and a light champagne carbonation.

Flavors start malty and quickly go to big bitter hop and a grapefruit bitter finish. Front sweet malty character and midpalate are nice but short and this one ends with a big and long lasting bitter finish. I get a nice double alt character to this with some roasted malts, hints of smoke and roasted coffee. I get no winter spice character at all.

Nice beer; not what I expected but very good albeit not real comlex. A bit of an identity crisis on this one. Smokey with coffee tones with food.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed at a recent DC area tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a moderate caramel-brown color. Really, really murky without any real head formation or lacing afterward. The nose brings some light caramel and toffee plus a bit of bready easta nd some light toast. Flavor is mostly just a touch of caramel with some very light hopping and then some bread. Mouthfeel is medium with a bit of booze. Not bad, but not something I'd look for again.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle - more Christmas goodies to get through, before that swath of Beer Advent Calendars does me in, come December. Oh, I do loves me some thoroughly unnecessary umlauts!

This beer pours a clear, dark red brick amber hue, with two Santa's belt-worthy fingers of densely foamy, puffy, and rocky ecru head, which leaves some decent bands of cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bready, crackery caramel malt, biscuity toffee, dry cocoa powder, edgy black domestic and Middle Eastern fruit (sounds better than plum and fig, eh?), wet ash, thin red wine must, brown sugar extract, and weirdly prominent leafy, earthy, and weedy hops. The taste is much more sharply hop-oriented - the metallic leafy, underripe melon and citrus, and wet pine needle sort - before that heady grainy, bready, and biscuity caramel malt pops its head up, alongside a reduced dark fruitiness, needling spiciness, a touch of benign yeast, hints of cold coffee grounds, and a sidling booze warming.

The carbonation is fairly understated, with a bare, unassuming frothiness for the most part, the body an adequate medium weight, and a bit too cutting on the high and side palates to be deemed particularly smooth. It finishes less sweet than I was expecting - the alcohol, dry maltiness, and strangely subsumed spices ruling the day.

A strange, and very American re-telling of an old European story - y'know, boozing and hopping up an Altbier, not to mention trying to pass it off as a holiday seasonal. Well, they seem to have succeeded on all fronts, as despite this one's weird astringency, it still goes down well in the face of snowfalls and stupidly overcrowded shopping expeditions alike. Oh, and I suppose I can let some "Bloodline" roll, in honour of punny names everywhere.

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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 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.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours reddish brown with a white head. The aroma is caramel malt with brown sugar. The flavor is caramel malt, toffee, dark fruits and grassy hops. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A little disappointing overall, but a beer worth trying.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a deep red with a medium white head, good lace.

S: Cracked wheat and bread, pumpernickel, roast, and toast.

T: Lots of crystal malt, toast. Piney hop finish, definitely an Americanized big altbier, tastes like an Imperial Red almost. A bit unpleasantly bitter at the end.

M: Medium-bodied, but a chalky finish, has a bit of a carbonic acid feel which I not a huge fan of.

D: It's OK, very inexpensive for the bomber ($3.50) which helps, just wish there was something more to it.

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Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown colored ale with a small yellowish tan colored head.

Smells sweet and malty with an unexpected smoky scent. Slightly medicinal smelling and spicy without any particular spice being identifiable.

Starts out sweet with a stout bitterness right at the start. Wood and tea from the hops this is a bit astringent. Patent malt gives this the smokiness that isn't nearly as noticeable in the taste as it is in the smell. Still not sure boosting the hops here was the best choice, it covers up the fruitiness you normally get in an Alt.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty beer. The extra hops was a mistake though, it covers up flavors and gives this an astringent edge.

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

A - Poured very dark brown with a small amount of light brown head.

S - Bready malts, brown sugar, and some noticeable alcohol on the nose.

T - Bready malts, brown sugar, warming alcohol and a touch of spice,

M - Light to medium body. Light carbonation.

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

Bottle purchased earlier in the year in California, brought back to Sydney, and shared with @LaitueGonflable on Christmas Eve.

Pours a lovely clear amber hue, with a fine, if slightly filmy head of pure white. It's a nice Altbier colour. Lightish body, with a touch of the gelatinous thickness to it, but less than I expected from a 7.2% ABV beer. Looks decent enough.

Nose is grainy and malt forward, with the sweetness being very forward. Rather mild all up; I enjoy a bit of sharpness in a good Alt, and while this has a singing slight funk to it, it doesn't quite capture it. Not bad.

Taste is clear and pleasant. A touch of greenness and some metallic resonances. Again, the malt sweetness is tempered and pleasant, but the grains could be upped a little more to give that classic heavy German malt character. The lack of this is disappointing, as it doesn't really have much other interest, or a twist on the style, to compensate. Feel is light, but not bad.

Not bad all up, but a little average. The problem is that it's not that interesting, and it's not even that classically "Altbier". Solid enough on its own terms, but Ninkasi can do better.

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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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 picked up at the COOP over the weekend... poured into my shaped SA glass... great head retention and just superb foamy lacing... the brew is a crystal clear dark brown that shows deep ruby highlites when held to a light.

Nose strikes me as having quite a bit of leather and maybe some tobacco notes... prominent dark fruits with not as much caramel as I was expecting.

Flavor has more of the fruitiness at the front of the palate.. not as malty as I was hoping for either, but still pretty classy.. good complexities that I am having a hard time describing well.. it all mirrors the nose pretty much, I guess... the body is light given the bigger ABV.. but the carbonation really helps the drinkability.


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

A:Poured a deep, dark brown with a small dirty white head

S: Caramelized sugar, toasted malt and a fruitcake

T: Some cocoa, caramel, toffee, hints at coffee, some cherries.

M: Well carbonated, nice feel, slight booze feel but pretty mellow isnce this a 2009 vintage.

O: Pretty drinkable for 7.2 ABV

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark brown with red highlights; light head and lacing. Aroma of fruit, bread and malt. Medium body. Malty flavor with a peppery bite in the middle. Roasty and dark malt, light fruit, a bit of nut, some cocoa, mild hops. Dry spicy finish. A nice revisitable seasonal ale. This really grew on me as I finished the glass.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich brown hue with a clear body and two fingers of frothy ivory foam. A good looking beer.

Smell: bready, biscuity malt aroma. While these aren't really my favorite malt characteristics, I admit they are relatively well done here.

Taste: the aroma comes through directly in the flavor here. Bready, biscuity malt and actually quite dry. Earthy hops are mild but provide a nice contrast and balance to the malt. Really, this tastes more like a nut brown ale to me, but it's not too bad.

Mouthfeel: medium to medium-light body with a decent level of carbonation. There's a nice creaminess here that I wasn't expecting, and which I really rather like.

Drinkability: this beer has a good feel to it, but I just can't get behind the dry, biscuity malt flavors -- they just don't turn my key. Still, a decently crafted brew.

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

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clear, clean deep ruby color with over an inch of khaki colored head that had medium retention and left very good lacing.

Predominately malt aroma with some hop spicieness. A full taste rolls over the tongue, mostly lightly sweet malt with just enough hops for a nice balance.

The body is very good, full without being heavy or sticky. The drinkability is very good as well, but I struggle having more than 3 in a row.

Overall, a better than solid beer that's worth your time.

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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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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.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to my sister for picking up this bottle for me on her trip to Oregon.

Dark roasted brown in color. Looks black if you take it away from any direct lighting. Light tan head of about one finger, then recedes to a film of foam. The dark brown and ruby mix is also a little cloudy, so I can't make out any bubbling.

Dark malty bread crust aroma. Pumpernickel and hearty biscuits. The hops add a nice earthy, piney aroma to this brew. Malt forward it seems, but almost equally balanced with some Oregon hops.

Super toasted malt with some roasted malts as well. Mixed in are some citric and Earthy hop aromas. Definetly the hoppiest Alt I've had so far. I think its a pretty good American Northwest take on a classic German style.

Slightly chalky palate with a well balanced, bitter finish. Would buy again.

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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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bomber into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep ruby red color, nearing on looking light brown, with a huge and creamy tan colored head that has an amazing level of retention. The head very slowly fades over time to leave a fantastic level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is super heavy of a spent grainy smell mixed with some fruity aromas of a more dark stone fruit nature containing smells of cherry, plum, and fig. Along with these aromas come some notes of a roasted malt as well as a bit of molasses.

Taste – The taste begins drier then would have been expected from the nose, but just as grainy and malty as I would have expected. It begins with a slightly roasted and very grainy malt taste mixed with some light molasses sweetness. The graininess gets even more intense with a bit more roast and some hay coming to the tongue toward the end. Along with these flavors so too comes a bit of a warming alcohol taste as well as a loss of most of the molasses. In the end, with the transitions that occur, one is left with a very grainy and malty spent grain flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side for an altbier of 7.2 % abv. with a carbonation level that is on the average side. For the style a little bit of a thicker body may have been more traditional, but in light of the rather massive spent grain flavor, the lighter body was actually quite nice.

Overall – Very malty and grainy with a lower level of sweetness. Not a bad altbier, but not the easiest drinking either. A nice one to try and good if you are not feeling anything sweet.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice.

A: Little to no off-white head. Clear brown sugar.

S: Fruity-sweet and malty. Raisins. Smells a bit like a BSDA. Flat.

T/M: Eh. Thin, yeasty, and lightly sour fruit. Red candy licorice? I'm generally unimpressed.

O: Not a fan, to be honest. It's an okay beer, and I wouldn't recommmend or have again; but still, I'm not a huge fan of altbier in general.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

big thanks to flexabull for this cool seasonal. enjoyed from a PFriem snifter.

a - brew poured a dark almost black with a finger of off grey bubbly head. lace coated the glass as the head dissolved.

s - nose is purple grape with nuts. some soggy malt as well.

t - purple grape. toasted malt. some slight roast. crispness. charcoal. spicy finish. biscuits. crystalized malt.

m - crisp. char.

o - overall nice winter beer. hits the vibe of the season just right. enjoyable brew.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper colour, quite clear with tan head, minimal but a decent fizz to it. Lace is nice and sticky. Looks rich, but maybe a bit thin.

Smells rich and Christmassy, with lots of dried fruit - raisins and sultanas with some dried apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of ginger. Treacle and molasses as well make it a bit too sweet, but it's a yummy Christmas beer.

Taste is far more sour, with the fruit esters dominating for the most part. Pear and fig with sultanas, raisins and a slight banana phenol joining in on the mid-palate. Spice comes in on the back with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove and an underlying boozey heat. Could actually use a bit more of that sweetness that put me off a bit on the nose, it feels a bit detached and needs more of a backbone on which to float that complex spice.

A bit drying and spicey at the edges, yet the body is decent.

A good Christmas beer, but some more sweetness on the palate would go a long way to balance it out.

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Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.