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Radiant Summer Ale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Radiant Summer AleRadiant Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

87 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 230
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 8.29%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 06-04-2009

6% alc./vol. 40 IBUs
Millenium, Galena, Northern Brewer, Liberty hops. Dry-hopped with Liberty.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 230
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark honey orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a medium amount of hop 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 that is drinkable but nothing all that memorable. (474 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I would think that this would be a universally liked drinkable beer. Very appealing and drinkable while offering complexity and real flavor and character. Most Ninkasa brews are good, this one very good. I believe that this is an unappreciated and under rated brewery.

Pours crystal clear bright orange amber with a thick, firm, pillowy long lasting head.

Nose is candi sugar, cooked bright stone fruit, hints of fresh pear-nice.

Mouthfeel is thin/medium bodied but great balance with light carbonation, a hint too light.

Flavors are appealing, layered and complex. Front palate of slightly fruity/sweet cooked fruit that goes right to big burnt toast bitter, toasted grains and fresh bitter coffee - very appealing and inviting.

Finish is burnt toast, bitter roasted grain, and toasty coffee bean. Long end finish of hints of bitter pine. Quite nice and likely good to go with lots of different food flavor profiles. (926 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

not totally sure how this one qualifies as a summer ale, its huge for a summer pale ale at 6% abv and packs a lot f grain body into this intensely hopped beer. love it, but it doesn't match the season well. well, maybe in oregon it does, i don't know. some serious radiant orange to the color, as the name suggests. well carbonated with lots of tiny bubbles and a bright white head. it smells more bitter than anything else, but i gather some light pine notes from the hops, more dry, like pine cone rather than what we are used to when we think of pine family hops. bigger malt base gives plenty of body and just a touch of caramel sugar to the front end of the flavor and the middle before very very bitter hops take over. this seems to be a theme with ninkasi hop forward beers. the trice
rahops and the total domination were both pungently bitter, and while this one is less so, it follows in that vein. excellent carbonation lightens it up just a bit, but its still a rather filling beer, especially for a warm weather offering. very well made, sturdy as they come, intensely hopped. similar to nothing, i liked this a lot. (1,128 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright (one might even say radiant) apricot with honey gold borders. Slow-moving bubbles ascend within, eventually plink-plink-plinking into the underside of a lovely looking head of pale sandstone colored foam. Thick sheets and small chunks of lace can be seen all over the upper portion of the glass.

The aroma could be brighter and bolder. The hops go easy on citrus fruity, sticking to earthy and herbal for the most part. It's hard to get a bead on the malt, although the beer's color suggests mostly pale with something slightly more toasted.

Radiant Summer Ale is tasty stuff if you like hop-focused APAs. 40 IBUs seems about right. Ninkasi must have figured that there are enough pale-malted, C-hopped pales out there, so they went in a slightly different direction. Any direction is fine as long as the beer is good... and this one is.

As suspected, the maltiness is on the toasted-light caramel side. The beer is more earthy, herbal and tea-like than nutty. Although nothing stands out on the hop side of the ledger, the melange of flavors from the somewhat unconventional hop bill works out well in the end. A little grapefruit peel and lemon zest keeps this American hop loving BA happy.

Given the ABV and the summer seasonal designation, the mouthfeel is right where it ought to be. It's much closer to medium than to light, and the carbonation is pretty close to ideal (left side of the Bell curve).

I'm not sure why I'm surprised that Radiant Summer Ale is good beer. Every other Ninkasi Brewing Company brew, with the possible exception of Tricerahops DIPA, has been both delicious and drinkable. If you enjoy well-crafted APAs, this one is definitely worth your hard-earned money. (1,702 characters)

Photo of zeff80
2.94/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left some thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus (orange and grapefruit) with an odd funkiness that was somewhat unpleasant.

T - Good citrus flavors and sweet caramel malt. The odd (tart) funkiness kinda had a burning sensation.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - This beer was all over the place for me. Some good aromas with some bad aromas. Some good flavors with some bad flavors. (533 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.54/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Way bitter and plain amber beer. Color is ice and has a decent head. Seems pleasantly beery at first mouthful with enough carbonation. Some hint of orange flavor and a touch of sweet malt. Hops contribute a plain, non-aromatic harshness. Flat taste that is beery enough but dissipates into an endless bitterness. Light body. I don't taste anything to redeem this stuff, but it may appeal to someone on a serious hop trip. From a 22 oz bottle bought in San Francisco. (466 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is...boring. Don't know what to say beyond that. Besides: it seems more like an amber to me as opposed to a pale ale. Odd kind of leafy tone that doesn't seem to fit. Hop spices don't mesh well either with things. Eh. I could've done without trying this one really. (275 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a light amber, light white head, some good lacing.

S: Lots of grass and melon rind, classic Northwest hop nose.

T: Nice crystal malt with a lot of grain character. Not super hoppy, light with bitter melon. Solid flavour, but nothing striking.

M: Light-bodied, smooth, moderately long aftertaste.

D: Solid hoppy red. Nothing to go out of your way for, but if you're craving some hops in the summertime, this would be a nice pickup. (459 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this reddish pale ale with a couple friends. It reminded me a bit of a Ringwood pale ale for the subtle candy fruit flavor rolling under the dry, bitter citrus hops. The body was thinner than most pale ales, making for an easy-drinking summer beer with a good kick of hops. (291 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.27/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear amber colored ale with a small white colored head. This one has a distinct orange color. It is in the spectrum I like to call IPA Orange.

Smells of toasted grain and mild herbal hops. Faint grapefruit aroma.

Starts out dry and woody. Dry and a little more bitter than I would have expected. Mildly citrus mostly grapefruit with some soda cracker toasted wheat flavor. Slightly more bitter than I would like but it is far from a bad beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a decent beer, it could be slightly less bitter but it is a good beer if you like a very dry pale ale. (577 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Uncaps with an extremely effervescent hiss. I was expecting a gush, but almost no bubbling formed in the bottle at all. Pours bubbly, however, with a big sudsy head of off-white foam. Lacing is intricate and interesting. Colour is just about spot on what I expect for an APA, a pale golden colour, with just a slight amber hue to it. Very lovely, all over.

Nose is subdued, but pleasant. Slight lemony citrus character, with a candy sweetness and a deeper grainy cereal note. Missing some potency, but it has some genuinely pleasant characters.

Flavour is again subdued, but very appropriate for the style. Light citrus on the front, before a rather green fresh grain character streaks through the back, leaving the finish pleasant with cereal dryness. Feel is light, but with a very pleasant spritz of carbonation to liven the palate.

Insanely drinkable and extremely sessionable, even for something with 6% ABV. Very smooth and easy to go down, and with lots of pleasant characteristics. This is just what you want from the style.

Ninkasi continue to impress me. I can't believe I hadn't tried any of their beers prior to this trip. (1,138 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear, light orangish color in the light with a small white head

S: Smell is green, some grass and flowers, plenty of hops

T: Grains, floral notes and plenty of bittering hops here

M: Lighter to medium bodied, light booze, hop bitterness

D: Ok (259 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice hazy golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is a nice balance of hops/malts, slight citrus. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter, hoppy/malty, with some citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice thirst quencher on a hot day. (333 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 picked up at Brewforia today... Cool to see this one... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

1" eggshell head... splotchy lace atop a hazy orange brew.

Nose is malty with some yeasty fruitiness... not a whole lot in the way of hops.. mild citrus.

Flavor begins with a descent hoppy bitterness.. then a thicker than expected maltiness... a little toasted malt.. the citrus hops are better than the aroma.. the esters remind me of lite apricot.. pithy grapefruit shows a bit as it warms, but overall, this is a just average brew.

Glad I got a chance to try it.. but I would expect better... I will revisit this one next time I get a chance at a really fresh bottle.

3.5/3/3.5/3.5/3.5 (684 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a clear orange amber. Nice one finger off-white head and good lacing. Nice looking. Light caramel malt and light fruit aroma. Sweet caramel malt start, grassy, citrus middle then transitions into an abrupt hop bite. Not well integrated. Nice medium body, individual components are nice, but not a good flavor progression. (391 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10 oz glass. Poured a clean copper-gold color with about an inch of white head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma is very hop forward with just a bit of malt in the background. The flavors is also bitter hop forward with just enough malt to be noticed. Not much balance here.

The body was average and drinkability was decent but not special. Overall, a decent beer, but I would have rated it higher as an IPA. I probably won't try this again as I'm surrounded by better IPA's. (501 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: very hazy medium-orange body with a finger of ivory head with a bit of an orange cast. Lots of floating solids in the body, which is OK but not my favorite trait in an APA.

Smell: light, slightly biscuity malt aroma with a touch of earthy hops. Not bad, but it's not impressive, either; a little more volume would help a lot here.

Taste: nice malt backbone and a huge hop bitterness. Flavors are earthy and slightly citrusy and even a touch floral. You might call this a West Coast APA -- but for the aroma, this could be a big, solid IPA. Frankly, I like it. The overall effect is earthy and fulfilling.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of carbonation. Pretty smooth and a little creamy, although at this level of intense bitterness creamy isn't exactly what I'm seeking.

Drinkability: bold and fulfilling. I'm thinking a session of this stuff would leave me with a boulder in my belly; still, its straightforwardness is pleasing and I'd gladly have a few of these. (1,036 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.21/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Part of the Ninkasi Summer 4 pack.

A - Pours a darker orange with a one finger cream colored head that slowly fades and leaves good lacing on the glass.

S - Wheat, Rye?, and some slight citrus notes.

T - Lemons, wheat, and again what I would call rye.

D - Good carbonation, slightly bitter in the mouth.

O - Good summer beer. (368 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

One of my favorite summer beers. Looks a dark amber, good carbonation. Aroma was sweet.

Taste, like an amber and a pale ale. More caramel than I've ever seen in a summer beer, all for the better. Somehow, it will remain light and not a heavy mouthfeel at any point.

The hopping is ample for style and season. Dig the smoothness of liberty hops, that yet, impart the mildest spice. Points for being a unique summer ale that isn't overly reliant (if at all) on lemon. Great price $3.99 a bomber. (496 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber colour with a creamy off-white head. Good head retention.

Toasty, nutty malt with a touch of hop character. Not bad.

Smooth and slightly nutty malt with moderately light bitterness. Slightly earthy.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A nice balanced session ale which is very much flavourful and smooth. (335 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, slightly hazy, amber color with a small head. The head that does form has good retention before settling to a thin cap. Nice amount of lacing is left on the glass. Rather timid aroma of grapefruit and lemon. Some malt aroma is also detected. Smells refreshing at least. Starts with a citrus hop flavor before some sweet malt makes an appearance. Finishes fairly bitter. Bitterness is moderate to high for an APA. Has a nice body and texture with a carbonation that keeps it lively without making things harsh. A good APA with some bitter bite. (557 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lot like Spring Reign in that it sacrifices complexity for drinkability. The hops are there but downplayed and the beer is pretty forgettable in retrospect. I like their beers but this is nothing special. I would have liked a little more hops on the mouthfeel and a longer finish kinda like Deschutes Twilight Ale but I still found it a drinkable beer for a hot day. (368 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat on the dark and heavy side for a summer ale, especially one called Radiant. Perhaps autumn would be more suited to this alt-like pale bronze ale with its nutty, yeasted tang that drops lace like contrails across the pint. Drinkable, but a bit quirky for Ninkasi and a notch less compelling than their regular lineup. (325 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. Im not sure If I got a strange bottle but my one pours a hazy dark orange with a very slight white head,. Aroma pleasing scent of hops..grassy, some maltiness in the back. Taste? hops first mid-bitter lemomy, then some sweet baked apple pie flavour , brown sugar and again the hops appear at the end to lend a long lasting finish. Ok on the palate..loved the after taste of hops. Overall an unusual beer ,I liked it but couldnt see me drinking more than one in a sitting. (484 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally picked up a bottle (22 oz), the Summer Ale snagged as the 'Dog Days' near an end. Hot Lips in the Pearl, poured to an imperial pint glass, slice of 'White' pizza on the side.

A: Gorgeous glowing amber, the name 'radiant' is deserved. Bountiful head, an off-white cream that builds to 2-fingers, settles gently, leaves coating foam-lace. Only drawback: a noteworthy haze with a few suspended flecks of uncertain origin and a general dullness/carbonation lack.

S: Modest maltiness plays with mild orange and spice. Really no much more than that...nothing bad, nothing special either.

T: More oranges and a hopping that starts strong with spice and blatant bitterness, then mellows to a thinner grass/herb greenness. Bits of candied caramel and a balancing sweetness, still this is a hop-skewing APA, flavorful enough. Biscuity-dry finish.

M: Very smooth, with a well-guarded prickliness. Medium body for the style, a little on the 'chewy' side.

D: Easy enough to drink and tasty enough, too. I do believe there was one in my hand (or my wife's, at least) when we were chatting up brewer Jamie Floyd a couple weeks back at Green Dragon's MTB Night...other than that, I neglected this all summer long. Not my favorite from Ninkasi, not a bad beer either. Worth a recommendation. (1,288 characters)

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Radiant Summer Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.