Critical Hit - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Critical HitCritical Hit

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BA SCORE
82
good

60 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 9
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 03-22-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
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5/5  rDev +37.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +24%

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4.5/5  rDev +24%

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.36/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber share courtesy of RateBeer's one and only dcschiller, thanks again Dave. It pours with a murky amber body that has some golden hues and supports a tan head of foam. The aroma offers up big musty malt sticky pine hops, a sliver of grapefruit and then some molasses. The taste has a nice mix of resiny pine hop heavy bitterness and then streams of molasses to midway. Malts bubble forward for a moment before the resiny pine hop bitterness and a sliver of sweetened citrus hops take over and bring this to a rich rewarding finish. Solid bold American style Barleywine. Wow!

Photo of ngeunit1
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy amber-orange color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with some brown sugar, grapefruit and pine hops, and some booze.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malts and caramelized sugars with some brown sugar, a touch of dark fruit, and some grapefruit and citrus hops and bitterness. Through the middle, some pine hops come through with some more resiny bitterness with some more caramelized malts. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts, caramelized sugars, grapefruit and pine hops, some bitterness, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, bitter, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice big bold barleywine with a surprisingly high level of smoothness and drinkability.

Photo of irishgreensoda
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of powdersoldier
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of pixieskid
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

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4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The 2009 version, on tap at Bier Stein the other day.

The beer pours a somewhat darker, copper amber color with good head retetention and lacing. The nose is impressive in this one, as I get considerable malt, dry citrus, vanilla and brown sugar. This beer smells like a big old, hoppy barleywine. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, and put me in mind of an aged version of Bigfoot. There beer has some nice, slightly oxidized, aged ale flavor components that is pretty nice, which blends well with the brown sugar, sweet malt and considerable hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is fairly full in this moderately sweet beer, and the finish is long and fairly dry, due to the considerable boost of hoppy bitterness. Alcohol is noticeable, but this beer is not at all hot or tiring on the palate.

A fine beer, but I was happy with the small taster I got of it at BS. That's really all I needed.

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4/5  rDev +10.2%

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4/5  rDev +10.2%

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4/5  rDev +10.2%

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4/5  rDev +10.2%

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4/5  rDev +10.2%

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4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Shortened) Pours a nice and solid one finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is mostly medium bubbles, but a decent amount of small bubbles as well. The head is just a hair off white, slightly tan, with some yellow in it. Not very creamy looking. Not really any other descriptive characteristics to it other than "average", it's not too soapy, nor pillowy, just average. The lacing looks like it will be good, but we will have to see for sure as I get down the glass. Head retention is pretty decent, I still have about a quarter finger of head left. Overall not a bad looking head, somewhat average as far as bubbles go, but pretty nice none the less. The body is pretty damn cloudy. I know this has 100+ IBU's, so I'm expecting it to have a lot of IPA characteristics, the appearance for sure does. It's very cloudy, the visibility is almost zero through the beer. The color is a dark orange, almost like a maple color. Hints of gold and brown in the color as well. From what I can see the carbonation looks pretty low. Overall it's a slightly different looking beer, but heck it's a 100+ IBU barleywine, that's not normal either. We will see how the lacing turns out, but overall it's a good looking beer so far. Well it for sure smells like a barleywine. On the nose you get a huge fruity smell to start things off, mangos, pears, apples. For sure a lighter fruit smell, pretty nice actually, it compliments the beer nicely. There is for sure a alcohol presence on the nose, but it is somewhat covered up by a big sweetness that is present as well. That's not necessarily a good thing because overly sweet beers are annoying too, but it is better than having a beer that tastes so boozy you can barely put it down your throat. Honestly I'm really not getting that big hop smell that I should be getting with a 100+ IBU beer. I don't really care that much, because the beer still smells good, it's just a little annoying because that was a big part to Ninkasi's marketing of this beer. I mean there are a little but of hops, but they are extremely covered up by the smell of fruit, alcohol and sweetness. A little small maltyness as well, but again it's immensely covered up. Overall it's a good smelling beer, I really enjoy the fruit complexity and the overall complexity of the beer. It's really not an unusual smell for a barleywine either, the lack of hops and malts, but there should be more considering the marketing. Anyways, overall a good smelling beer, if I was a bigger fan of barleywines it might get a 4.5. Well I am going to be in for a long night with this beer, HOLY CRAP! 11.7% ABV?!?!?! This beer tastes like 6% or 7% ABV, this is insane. I mean the alcohol presence is just way below what it should be, A+ there. I mean yo can taste the alcohol, there is a little in the taste, and a little more in the aftertaste, but crap it's low all considering. As for the rest of the taste, FRUIT. I get a whole lot of fruit here, honestly it tastes more like cider than beer. Mangos, peaches, apples, pears, a lot of light fruit here. Pretty big sweetness to go along with that, but not a gross sweetness at all. I mean the hops in this beer is just excruciatingly small, I mean this tastes like an amber level of hops to me. Like I said, not a problem really, but they marketed it incorrectly. Tiny malt flavor, but like the hops, extremely covered up by the other flavors. Really it's just mostly all fruit, followed by some alcohol and sweetness. It's a good flavor, but honestly considering everything, it's a little watery on the flavor. I mean the fruit is there, and in some ways it's very complex, and full of flavor. But in other ways it's slightly watery in flavor. It's not the end of the world, it's still a good flavor, but it should be noted that it's not the 100% full flavor you get out of a world class beer. Overall good flavor. I've only had a few barleywines, and I can't quite remember the mouthfeel. The mouthfeel of this beer somewhat works with the overall feel of the beer, but I still don't really like it. The carbonation is extremely low, like it's barely there at all, one of the lowest carbonated (if not the lowest) beers I've EVER had in my ENTIRE life. The body has a tiny bit of thickness to it for about a second, and then it's just watery, and I never like that. I mean, like I said it kinda works for the style, cause it's a slow drinking beer, but I would enjoy something thicker and slightly more carbonated. I'm going to give it a 3.5 because it works for the overall feel of the beer, but let it be known that that is an extremely generous rating. The drinkability, like I said, is extremely good, probably the best alcohol-to-drinkability-ratio-beer, I have ever had. It's not easy to drink, don't get me wrong, but it's light years easier than it should be. Overall this is a good beer, it's somewhat unique in a few areas.

Photo of brotherloco
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz waxed bomber. 2010 Reserve. Bottle Number: 2912/5000. Served in a tulip.

Pours a hazed dark copper. A lot of minute suspended sediment. A finger of beige foam forms and dissipates to a small dense ring. Spots of lacing.

Strong aroma on this one. Dry brown bread malt, floral perfumy hops, sweet fruits like apple, pear, and banana. A big dose of alcohol as well.

Flavor starts dry, with sweet fruits from the nose coming on fairly quickly. Things bloom nicely in the middle of the flavor with lots of floral resiny hops. A lot of bitterness, both tasted and felt, has a real citrus quality as well. There is a sweet caramel malt presence that lingers through the finish. Not surprisingly you taste alcohol in the finish, but it is rather well blended.

Medium-full bodied with lowish carbonation. Fairly heavy on the palate. Appropriate for the strength of this beer, just wish for a touch more carbonation. Very warming, heat hits you after only a couple of sips.

The first beer I've encountered with a 20-sided die on the label. Not that I know what that is... I swear.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 properly cellared bottle poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a reddish coppery amber with a thin off-white head that dissipates to a thin persistent film and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, sweet dark fruit and a hint of citrus. Flavor of mellow caramel malt, dried dark fruit, alcohol and grassy hops. Finish is somewhat abrupt, but leaves a long lasting grassy, earthy hop bite. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Initial flavors are well balance, but subdued; the finish is hot and hoppy. A decent barley wine that could use a bit more balance between the malt/fruit components and the finishing hops and alcohol heat. I'm glad I cellared this for a couple of years, I think the hops would have been overwhelming in the fresh bottle. I will cellar another bottle for a bit longer, I think it will stand up to more aging nicely and may bring better balance.

Photo of woemad
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber of the 2010 vintage. According to the label, this was bottle # 647 out of a total of 5,000. I have no idea where I purchased this, but there’s a price sticker indicating it was for $13.99. If I had to guess I suppose I bought it at either Enoteca or Huckleberry’s.

Poured a dark amber color that took on a more orangey color when held up to light. Big, creamy beige head that hung around for quite a while and left lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

Surprisingly “hot” aroma from this – I had assumed it would be mellower after 4 years. Piney and citrusy hops were the primary aroma – the hops did not seem to have “faded” to any great degree. When this was fresh, it must have been an absolute hop bomb. Biscuity malt aromas rose to be detected once the beer had warmed up a bit.

Surprisingly bitter hop blast up front, and more herbal than the nose indicated. Quite boozy as well – yes, there’s still quite a lot of “heat” to this one.

Full bodied, with a prickly, coating mouthfeel.

Bigger and brasher (is that a word) than I expected for something that’s been laid down for several years. I can only imagine how big this was when it was fresh. Unless I were to somehow discover that this bottle was an aberration, I would sit on a similarly aged bottle for a while longer before I tried it.

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3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of kk73
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of afrokaze
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Massbmx
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of anson42
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

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Critical Hit from Ninkasi Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.