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Radiant Summer Ale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Radiant Summer AleRadiant Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

88 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 88
Hads: 232
Avg: 3.48
pDev: 20.4%
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

6% alc./vol. 40 IBUs
Millenium, Galena, Northern Brewer, Liberty hops. Dry-hopped with Liberty.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 88 | Hads: 232
Photo of OregonLightning
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since most reviews are of the same format I prefer narrative. I purchased this beer from a bottle and poured in pint glass. Pours medium dark amber. Small head. smell is citrus, and hoppy, smell of fresh hops. Very drinkable considering a 6% ABV, A great summer ale and just added another drink to my summer beach list. Tasty and refreshing. Not overbearing. I look forward to drinking this ale again.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

Very active, slightly hazy, golden/apricot, with thick white head and good retention.

Mainly grassy and floral, but faintly citrusy, hops balancing nicely with the light, sweet maltyness. Pleasant, but not complex.

Somewhat sharp piny hop flavor and bitterness against a modest malty body. A bit fruity, and the finish is crisp and dry.

A bite from the strong carbonation, thin side of medium body, some richness, and then a dry and bitter finish.

I suspect that this beer is about what Ninkasi was aiming for. But even on a balmy (70F) Alaskan summer day, I like my brews a little maltier.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a cloudy a amber with light particals suspended throughout, having a fair head and lace. Smell has floral hops and light sweet malts. Taste has a good punch of grapefruit hops over the malts having a light sweet breadiness. Mouthfeel is medium/light with good carbonation. For me it's a little out of balance with the hops for a summer ale, but still a good brew.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
4.05/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Hazy golden-amber color with what appears to be tiny traces of sediment. Two and a half fingers of white head that retained well and laced the glass nicely.

Smell: Citrus hop aroma up front. Fruity and pale malty aroma underneath.

Taste: Bordering on IPA territory. Beautiful understated malty flavor with plenty of bitter piney and grapefruit hops, and a touch of tart fruitiness. Pretty straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with active carbonation.

Drinkability: Very refreshing with plenty of flavor to go along with it. Top marks.

Final Notes: Yet another great brew from Ninkasi. A summer beer with some serious flavor (they seem hard to find). Check it out.

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Photo of philbertk
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ninkasi Brewing Company--Radiant Summer Ale Seasonal Release 2009--22 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV--40 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Amber Ale--Rich rocky dense mild lace off white head. Couldy dark bright amber orange color. No sediment. Mild floral hop wheat malt ester fruit front. Mellow sweet cloying mild crusty caramel wheat hint mild fruit ester body. Mellow hop spice smooth refreshing Amber end. Sampled 7/14/2009. $4.00 Each.

Ninkasi Brewing Company--Radiant Ale Seasonal Release--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. 40 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Amber Ale. Big dense lacy lasting light orange head. Fizzy hazed bright rich amber dark orange color. Bottle conditioning sediment hint. Mild malt fruit ester hop backed front. Mildly creamy smooth mellow sweet doughy light toasted caramel mild fruit amber ale body. Refreshing subtle hop end. 2 @ $3.50 Each Purchase @ Fred Meyer--Ballard & Sampled 9/6/2010.

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Photo of Genghis22
2.74/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a hazy, strawberry blonde color with little to no head. Mild carbonation evident.

S - Sweet malty, faint touch of grassy hops. Not overly strong. Slightly biscuity.

T - Much more flavor than aroma. Sweet, thin and malty at first. Tastes like an apple. The hops come in afterward and add bitterness.

M - Thin and watery, very light. Moderate carbonation. True to style, though it does add to overall apathy I feel for this beer.

D - Nothing to write home about. This beer is thin, watery and boring. The flavors are completely lost in the aroma and muddled on the tongue. While not offensive, this certainly is not something I would buy again.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of chumba526
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears light orange with a small white head.

Strong citrus notes dominate the smell: mostly grapefruit and orange. There is also mild bread like smell to the beer as well.

It tastes slightly citrus and quite bitter. There is a very slight bready malt taste to the beer as well. It is quite refreshing despite the strong bitterness.
The carbonation is about medium. I find it to be quite drinkable I could drink a few of these.

Not the best beer for a hot day but a damn good one. Worth trying especially if you like light, hop-forward beers.

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Photo of cbarrett4
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into Nonic. Tasted several times from taps with consistent results.

A - Nice, clear, copper hue with a good head and average lace.

S - good, fresh pale ale nose with lots of summer fruit, some malts and hops to round things out.

T - more of the same summery goodness, fresh tree fruits, some spice and hops.

M - mild and smooth, more of an American Pale Ale style than either a British Pale Ale or a traditional American summer ale.

D - pretty serious despite being labeled as a 'summer' ale. Nonetheless it is tasty and smooth with nice balance.

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Photo of boothbeer
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to pecorasc.

A: Pours copper/amber color. 2 fingers of foamy white head. Awesome retention, but very little lacing.

S: Nice west coast bitter hops. Some honey sweetness and grapefruit rine.

T: Surprisingly lacking in flavor. All I taste is bitterness. No pronounced flavor, even from the hops. You can tell the hops are there, but there isnt a specific hop flavor. Sort of hard to describe.

M: Nice carbonation. Light body with very dry finish.

D: Crisp and refreshing. Could drink a lot of this, but I wish it had more flavor.

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Photo of zeff80
2.94/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.12/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Radiant Summer Ale at a beer store. $4.29. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a tarnished copper color and is slightly hazy. Frothy white head, is very resilient. The beer appears well carbonated with many bubbles rising in the glass.

Smell is sweet and fruit or candy-like. Apricots, pears and brown sugar. There are also some spice notes along side, coriander or cinnamon perhaps.

The taste is also fairly sweet, pears and lemons up front, with a bit of a biscuit presence, and then a slightly acerbic finish, like red wine vinegar.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and clean, with a dry bitter aftertaste.

A drinkable pale ale, and reasonably priced in the large format bottle. I would have this again, but I probably wouldn't hunt it down.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
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

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of jdense
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottled version, 22 oz. from Whole Foods Hollywood PDX, poured into Barley Brown pint glass

Hard pour resulted in two fingers soapy white head, pretty quick dissipation with above average lacing. Deep gold clear body, second glass looked like quite a bit of yeast suspended in the beer. Sweet malts and grassy hops in the nose, malts predominate. Malts up front in the taste, though hops provide enough finishing bitterness to find a semblance of balance. Medium mouthfeel, some effervescence. Pretty drinkable, but certainly not my favorite summer seasonal. Worth a try for Ninkasi fans, but I'll pass next time..

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Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of forsport
5/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The boys at Ninkasi tweeked the recipe for this year. They backed off the hops to make it more warm weather friendly. A nice smooth malty character with hops present but not over the top. It is 6 percent making it somewhere between a session beer and a one and done.

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Photo of katan
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at gernika

a- pours a light brown to amber color. Very clear, very filtered. Head is light, a film of pearly white bubbles.

S- light and airy nose. Light wheat malts and some yeast. Spicy notes are present as well: some cloves.

T- lightly malty at first with some floral notes. Gets more astringent, with some edgy grainy notes. Some fruity hop notes appear. Finishes more bitter, somewhat edgy hop and grassy notes.

M- moderate body. Driven by some strong carbonation. Can be creamy when coating the palette. Finishes with a resin of hops on the tongue.

D- moderate drinkability. As a summer beer I find it too assertive. Not at all filling. Not as light as a summer beer should be.

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Photo of boogyman
2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Found this in the depths of a local grocery store, I am sure there are not many of there lying around anymore.

A- Pours a deep copper color with a thin white head that leaves some bubbles floating on top that stick around.

S- Has a very fresh smell but it is hard to get much from it other then the light citrus scents since it is just out of the fridge. I will add more once I let it warm up. The smell gets a bit floral as it gets warmer.

T- Has a fresh fruityness to it that brings out the citrus from the hops. The malt is smooth. There is some slight alcohol I can taste that may be masked a bit more if I let it warm but I am not sure. So far this is a pretty standard pale. Nothing too special.

M- The mouthfeel is so-so. The carbonation is a bit high but it does go down without too much bite.

D- With only 6% ABV I could drink this fairly easily but there is certainly more enjoyable beers in this style and ABV.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
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.


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Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Radiant Summer Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.