Spring Reign - Ninkasi Brewing Company
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Ratings: 211 | Reviews: 92 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +12.7%
Out-of-focus apricot with a light blush of coral red and edges of Sunkist orange. What a wonderful hue. Two fingers of toasted almond colored suds are perched atop the beer. Good longevity and abundant sea foam lace make the appearance score an easy call.
The aroma is too tame, which makes me think that American blonde ale is a better choice than APA. The hop bill is well-chosen: Simcoe, Santiam and Ahtanum. Unfortunately, it's more fruit peel musky and floral than tropical fruity. In other words, the Simcoe don't dominate like I'd like.
Spring Reign Ale is delicious beer and really is more of an American pale ale than a blonde. It has more toasted maltiness than most blondes and it has more hop bitterness as well... even though we're now two seasons removed from the release. The 38 initial IBUs don't appear to have taken much of a hit.
The malt really isn't that toasted on the palate. Biscuity pale malt is well out in front. The Tettanger-like Santiam lead the way, with grapefruit citrusy Ahtanum and tropical fruity Simcoe several lengths behind. Why do I often use a horse race analogy when talking about flavor profile? In any case, this is a still-hoppy brew that is a pleasure to drink.
There isn't a thing wrong with the mouthfeel. It's closer to medium than light, and manages to deliver a silky suppleness that is probably the result of near perfect carbonation. Good job NBC.
Spring Reign Ale is at least as good as Radiant Summer Ale. Why stop there Ninkasi? Give us something for the autumn and winter seasons that is just as hoppy and just as good. More hoppy and better would work too.
08-31-2009 13:07:35 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.15/5 rDev -11.3%
Thin, bitter golden ale.
Beautiful appearance with endless lacing. Ditto the mouthfeel, with good carbonation and creaminess. Starts with a hint of malt and a refreshing watery taste. But a needless over-bitter hop assault takes over. Quite acidic. No hint of sweetness but maybe a touch of roasted malt. The initial sensation is good, but the aftertaste is so long and so bitter the thrill is soon gone. But I'll save it to mix with Huber's Simpler Times, a cheap, sweet lager begging for a kiss of the heavy hops.
So this is a matter of taste, but it seems like sharp, highly hopped ales should be in the Pale Ale category.
05-14-2011 04:24:39 | More by mactrail
3.63/5 rDev +2.3%
22 oz. bomber,
A: Pours a light orange with a finger of white head. Attractive lace and head retention.
S: Toasted malt, cracked wheat notes, with some hay like hops.
T: The cracked wheat, husky grainy malt component comes in on the flavour initially. Hay and grass form the hop flavours, with a noticable metal/copper undercurrent, with some very bitter melon like notes at the finish, surprising for only 38 IBUs.
M: Crisp with some biting carbonation. On the light-bodied side. Quite smooth if not the cleanest finish.
D: Solid stuff. One of the cheapest new bombers I've seen in a while, a nice brew for spring.
04-28-2010 22:23:50 | More by Halcyondays
3.63/5 rDev +2.3%
Picked up from Whole Foods, SoMa San Francisco on a recent trip, and shared with @LaitueGonflable.
Pours clear and bright, a lovely deep golden colour, with a somewhat filmy and pancake-bubble-ridden head. Lacing is very intricate and pleasant, however, and it has a lovely fine bead. Looks pretty nice overall.
Nose is very subdued, with a mild American hop fragrance giving touches of peaches and melon. Slight yeasty overtones, but these are well balanced by the hop characters. Minimal body, and it's quite light overall, but it's fresh and clean and pleasant, nonetheless.
Taste is clean and crisp, with a pleasant bitterness that interleaves itself nicely with a surprising grain huskiness. It adds to the crispness, but the hop flavour—those slightly tropical melon notes—tends to get lost somewhat. Gritty finish, but the lightness overall doesn't make this a big issue.
A decent brew, clean, fresh, bright and drinkable without being all that exciting. But I'm very happy to have some unexcitingly quaffable beer on the roster, and Ninkasi again delivers on that.
05-26-2011 08:39:46 | More by lacqueredmouse
3.13/5 rDev -11.8%
Clear amber colored ale with a tall off white colored head.
Smells mostly malty with a strong caramel candy aroma. Hops are present too in a decent amount pine and wood mostly, C Type Hops. Smells something like a mellowed out Arrogant Bastard but the malt beats the hops in this one.
Starts out dry and hoppy, malt is there but the sugars are gone. Little bit astringent it is a lot like watered down Arrogant Bastard. Actually is a little annoying.
Mouthfeel is average.
An OK beer but nothing special, tastes like a watered down Stone Arrogant Bastard.
05-30-2010 03:12:54 | More by Zorro
3.71/5 rDev +4.5%
A neat little dark yellow to orange gem. Big foam head, great retention, even smelled like spring, flowers and a nice sweet yeast component.
Taste, great honey and floral hop complexity to a very light feeling beer in a good way. The slightest feel of apples and maybe even cinammon (its not just for winter beers). A great hot weather, working outdoors, swimming, shooting beer. And for $3.50, you can't go wrong. Check it out.
08-11-2010 20:54:19 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.55/5 rDev 0%
22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. It poured golden amber in color with a full, frothy, white head filling the top inch of the glass. Pretty decent head retention with some great lacing as I drank it. Excellent looking beer for the style.
The aroma shows a lot of grainy, toasted malts to it. I get some grassy, citrus notes to the hops as well, but the malts seem to be the stronger of the flavors.
The taste shows more of the hops to it. I get a little bit of a resiny, bitter flavor up front, while more of the grassy, herbal, citrus flavors come out in the finish. The toasted, grainy malts are also there throughout the flavor, and lend it some sweetness in the finish.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it was a pretty easy drinking and flavorful beer. It wasn't anything outstanding, but was pretty decent. The flavors were pretty well balanced in the taste as well. Decent beer overall.
06-09-2011 23:17:48 | More by billab914
4.1/5 rDev +15.5%
22 picked up at Belmont Station last weekend.. poured into my Chimay goblet..
rocky 2 finger head... leaves surprising amounts of lace and has great retention.. the brew is slightly hazy gold.
grainy pale malts make up the bulk of the nose.. polished with a bright citric hoppiness... I am enjoying this one... I normally don't care for "blondes".
again alot of clean pale malts with touches of biscuit.. nice citrus hoppiness is bigger than most others that I've tried in the style.. finish is clean with an interesting and pleasant/yet unexpected "earthy" component.. a little bit of floral hoppiness is also present.. The body is light/medium for the style and carbonation is smooth small bubble.. very inviting.
I would compare this with a lite APA with a bigger yet some how dryer pale malt profile.. no caramel in this one... I would buy this one often if I had it available.... it would be just fantastic while working out in a hot Boise summer day.
04-15-2009 06:55:23 | More by JohnGalt1
2.83/5 rDev -20.3%
Poured into my snifter, the beer is dark orange with a nice off white head. Retention is good and there is some lacing on the glass.
The aroma is full of toasted caramel malt with a very interesting hop profile. It's pungent floral, medicinal, and slightly citrus. Flavor is slightly malty up front and segues into a strange medicinal, metallic, floral hop profile. To be honest, it's quite strange and tastes like lead with some alcohol. The beer is quite bitter with a strange, off hop flavor.
Light bodied with with good carbonation and a dry mouthfeel. I couldn't finish this. The metallic and medicinal hop finish was too much.
04-04-2009 06:13:05 | More by HopHead84
3.25/5 rDev -8.5%
Served is straight pint glass. Poured a clear, clean golden yellow with over an inch of white head, the beer was VERY carbonated, and had good retention and lacing.
The aroma was hop forward, with some grain scents in the background. The flavor was more balanced than the aroma had led me to expect. The hops upfront were well balanced with a solid grain finish.
The body was typical for the style, as was drinkability. Overall, a decent beer, worth a shot if you see it.
03-13-2010 22:37:57 | More by beertunes
3.83/5 rDev +7.9%
Taken from notes on 4.17.11
22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
A - Pours a cloudy orange with a fizzy white head. Very lively.
S - Malty, sweet, and floral.
T - Tastes like a bold lager - Malty but crisp and floral.
D - Drinks light, slight bitterness.
06-02-2011 08:20:23 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.1/5 rDev +15.5%
Poured from 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.
Appearance: clear, light golden color with three-finger head which dissipated slowly.
Smell: bright, spicy hops are right up front; this smells like an IPA.
Taste: slightly sweet, the malt flavors are apparent. The hops are quite present (and pleasant) in flavor, bit it is not overly bitter; this is a well-balanced beer.
Mouthfeel: medium-light with not a huge amount of carbonation.
Drinkability: while the hops flavor are pretty intense, this would be a good beer to down on a hot day at a barbecue.
This beer reminds me quite a lot of Bridgeport IPA, actually.
08-01-2009 22:15:43 | More by flagmantho
3.05/5 rDev -14.1%
Bomber poured into my Duvel tulip, Spring Reign is a dark, murky rust color with a large, light khaki head that leases decent lace. Much darker then I was expecting, the label cites a refereshing seasonal ale with bright and crisp NW hops, I was thinking something along the lines of SNPA.
Smell is buttery caramel malts, faint citrus.
Taste is also heavy on the crystal malt, lemony hops provide more sour then brightness. Seems like it might be past it's prime (judging by the description, yet it's barely spring here, and I don't think this has been out for more the 6 weeks, and was purchased from a fridge. Taste is a little thick on the malts, not bad, but I could use less diacetyl and specialty grains, more hop brightness. Maybe it just staled really fast...
Mouthfeel is heavier then it is in the belly, but there is a drier crispness to it.
Drinkability is okay for what it is, a strong pale ale. But not what I was hoping for or expecting after reading the label. Decent price at least.
04-16-2009 03:22:20 | More by ccrida
3.68/5 rDev +3.7%
Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a half finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of lightly toasted and biscuit malt, faint hops, reminiscent of a light pilsner. Flavor of mild bready and biscuit malt, sligthly nutty, finishing with dry bittering hops with light herabl notes. Medium bodied. Flavors are appropriate for a light Spring ale; but nothing really stands out and could use slightly more hop flavor to balance the bitterness in the finish. A nice dinner beer with pleasant maltiness.
04-23-2013 01:03:27 | More by LiquidAmber
3.68/5 rDev +3.7%
For a spring beer, this is a surprisingly dark color. Closer to orange amber than yellow, this beer is capped with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is disappointing. Toasted malt, biscuit and chalky Cascade hops (grapefruit pith, moderate grapefruit zest) as well as a little bit of pine and a touch of other citrus notes.
The palate opens moderately bitter and surprisingly astringent. It drinks closer to an APA than a blonde ale, with the bitterness being fresh, pungent and with a blend of a German herbal/minty/spicy hop flavors and a secondary American citrus character. The malt character is less noticeable here, with a blend of biscuit and toast. Mildly sweet and moderately oily on the finish, this beer is medium-light in body and slightly over-carbonated. The finish has a lingering bitterness that's quite pleasing, with an herbal/minty character. Alcohol is well-hidden, but in all honesty, there's no reason this beer couldn't be brewed at 4.5% - just look at Victory's Summer Love, which combines German hops and a blonde ale remarkably well. Solid.
05-06-2013 03:55:36 | More by DefenCorps
3.88/5 rDev +9.3%
Clear golden colour with a creamy off-white head. Fair head retention.
Light grainy malt aroma with a touch of grassy hop character.
Clean and smooth malt with moderate bitterness. Not much hop flavour but what there is is grassy. Nonetheless, a very easy drinking sessionable ale.
Medium-light body with moderate carbonation.
A balanced sessionable ale with just a touch of hop. Great summer beer.
08-15-2011 11:32:11 | More by dgilks
3.33/5 rDev -6.2%
Appearance - This poured a cool-looking brownish-orange in color with a decent head that pitted well on top of the liquid.
Smell - This aroma leads off with heavily-toasted malts, and I mean heavily-toasted. It's almost like a slightly burnt piece of bread but in a nice way, and there's some accompanying yeast as well. The hop profile is actually quite stiff but just manages a draw against the sharp malt aromas.
Taste - The leafy hops step up a bit at the taste, the opposite of what usually happens, and the malt loses some of its structure. The toasty notes are now more of a compliment to the hops than the other way around like it was at the smell.
Mouthfeel - This is where the beer kind of fell apart for me. It was way too thin for the sharp flavors, it lacks that smooth, sessionable mouthfeel that you expect from the style, and the carbs felt a bit cheap.
Drinkability - I liked the sharp personality of the flavors but it just didn't go down well for a beer trying to fill the sessionable bill.
07-02-2010 21:52:00 | More by RoyalT
3.58/5 rDev +0.8%
A: Hazy gold/orange color. Poured a thin, wispy white head. Laced in thin, broken rings.
S: Sweet pale malts and wet grain. Citrus and orange hops aroma.
T: Bready pale malts up front. Herbal hop notes in the middle; slightly resiny. Nice bitter in the finish to balance with some lingering herbal hops. Fresh, crisp and fairly clean.
M: Light body. Moderate carbonation; I think a bit more would be better. Starts sweet and finishes dry and bitter.
O: Mild, but flavorable. Nice balance.
06-03-2011 15:18:51 | More by Haybeerman
3.53/5 rDev -0.6%
12oz bottle from HuskyinPDX.
Pours almost completely clear amber with a thick but small head that recedes to a collar pretty quickly.
The aroma is like a nice crispy piece of toast with some light earthy hops, pretty grassy actually.
Like the aroma, the taste strikes me as very toasted. Crisp floral hops that remind me of a freshly mowed lawn. Almost gets a little too earthy as the finish has a really grainy character.
Mouthfeel is crisp and light with good carbonation and a dry bitterness after each sip.
The overly toasted malt character detracts a bit from the overall package for me but it's a nice drinkable bland with a healthy grassy hop profile.
04-15-2011 01:59:10 | More by gford217
3.48/5 rDev -2%
Pours a deep amber colour with steady bead feeding a mostly-gone head that retains shadows of something that looked really good; webbed lace with large bubbles, off-white colour. Quite nice.
Smell is quite metallic but malty. Bit of sourness to it with herbs and phenols and a slight vomit smell as well, just that slight organic acid to it. A bit rich and phenolic for my taste, but not off-putting.
Taste is malty and rich for the most part. Thick toffee flavour with a nutty edge towards the mid, with walnuts and marzipan. Bit of a coppery hop edge towards the back that lasts, but isn't quite strong enough to counteract the wet-dough flavour that comes through late. As you drink more and that phenol-metallic hop character continues to coat the palate, it retains a robustness. Yeah, it's OK.
A bit thin upfront, gets more texture towards the back but still feels a little thin, and empty.
Not a bad brew, can see what they're doing and it's been done pretty successfully, if not outstandingly.
05-27-2011 01:35:38 | More by laituegonflable
3.55/5 rDev 0%
Bomber into a Duvel tulip. Thanks, Drew, for sharing!
A: Slightly hazy, pale orange body capped by an inch of chunky, creamy ecru head. Terrific retention and lacing. Gorgeous.
S: Simple, light, and hop-forward: citrus, grassiness, and some clean bready malt. Plain and pleasant.
T: Follows the nose. Bready malt on top of some brightly citrusy hops. Moderately bitter, fruity finish. Nice, but a little forgettable.
M: Fairly light, moderately carbonated. Ok.
O: I could see this one being a fantastic vehicle for late-boil hops when super-fresh, but after a couple months in the fridge it was just pretty good. I'd rather have a Narragansett Summer, to be honest.
08-24-2011 15:14:57 | More by woosterbill
2.68/5 rDev -24.5%
360th review on BA
bottle to pint
App- Cloudy gold color with a nice pillowy 1 1/2 finger head. Good cling, looked like a promising beer.
Smell- Almost too malty in the nose with a bit of a old corn smell, leaning towards the husk thats wet.
Taste- Taste followed the nose, I just did not like the malty/bitter/AAL taste. I couldn't finish it.
Mouth- Thin bodied with a medium carb level. Bready malty finish of what I did put back.
Drink- It's below average and I expected more. I had heard good things about Ninkasi but think I need to try their regular line up before I write them off.
04-02-2011 20:22:01 | More by FosterJM
Spring Reign from Ninkasi Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.