Critical Hit - Ninkasi Brewing Company
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
2.45/5 rDev -32.9%
Clear, dark copper and thin tan head with good retention. Caramel sweetness and floral hop aroma. Hop bitterness up front with citrus and floral with caramel and a subtle chocolate in the middle. Long hop linger. Slick, sticky feel.
This seems to be a basic but very over-hopped Barleywine that must have been hopped 6 ways from Sunday to be this hoppy after 2 years. There’s no good combination of flavor and the hop bitterness just overpowers any flavor in it. Maybe this will be better in another year or 7 and definitely needs more of a complex malt combination because otherwise it seems more like an Imperial IPA. This is way too expensive and a poor beer as well. Just goes to show, throw a cool label with a serial number on it and some wax on the top and suckers will shell out $13 for a crappy beer.
07-12-2012 23:41:37 | More by Bfarr
2.5/5 rDev -31.5%
2010 vintage #2279/5000
A: Poured a sherry-orangish color with good carbonation and a dirty white head. Quite a bit of lacing on this one
S: Faded pine, some citrus and cardboard with some bread
T: initial taste of citrus followed by a dash of heat and then some dish soap, cardboard oxidation, faded hops and a long bittering presence on the end. Really hard to get pass the dish soap and cardboard.
M: Mouthfeel is bitter, well carbonated, medium-big to big body with pine, a tad bit hot.
O: It was not that great fresh and now its just plain harsh. Not a candidate for aging.
03-14-2013 11:46:02 | More by barleywinefiend
2.6/5 rDev -28.8%
Pours a hazy dark reddish amber in the Duvel tulip. Plenty of foam but it does dissipate down to zero lacing before too long.
Murky flavors. Quite bitter. A stew of muddy tastes. About as undrinkable a Barleywine as I've had. Caramel apple taste with a little wintergreen and yams. So sweet plus the hot alcohol taste. Bitter aftertaste is not pleasant with the sugary rush. Woody with burnt sugar.
I call it a Critical Miss. I don't know what's wrong with Ninkasi, they seem to always have variations on dirty, earth, murky flavors. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Beer Revolution in Oakland.
02-04-2013 08:47:15 | More by mactrail
3.33/5 rDev -8.8%
Poured into an 8oz Snifter at the Bier Stein
A - Ruddy deep amber almost red w/ nice off-white head that disipates into a thin cap. Small amount of lacing, nice legs. Fairly clear.
S - Not much to the smell for a Ninkasi or an American BW. Lots of sweet malts, very faint citrus, not much hops in the nose. Kinda earthy. Some floral hops as it warms. Slight oxidation.
T - Big malt tast, caramel, sweet dark fruits, some fig and dates. Sweet, with a big bitter finish. Warming sensation, spicy alcohol under the tongue, though the almost 12% is still well hidden until it warms up some.
M - Nice full body, good carbonation, sweet w/ a slightyly dryish bitter finish, prickles and burns under the tongue. Bitterness lingers quite a while after finishing.
O - Not my favorite, but a good beer none the less. I enjoyed it. I would have another (not right now mind you) if I find it again and am in the mood for something that big and heavy. Solid BW, but still kinda low on the hops beyond bittering.
07-29-2011 21:21:15 | More by jbakajust1
3.38/5 rDev -7.4%
2010 Reserve, Bottle #2503/5000, 22 oz bomber into a Bolt Cutter glass.
A - Has that perfect barleywine look to it. A nice burnt amber body that is slightly hazy and three fingers of dense light khaki foam with large bubbles that just coats the sides with killer lacing when swirled.
S - Very boozy with dark fruits, some faded piney hops, and lasting toffee and caramel. Pretty rich and bold, but really just too much of an alcohol presence.
T - A muted combination of toffee and faded piney hops. Slick and oily which is great given the style but everything is just so boring here. Finishes with a high level of bitterness and an unpleasant booziness. Mouth feel is nice and creamy though.
O - This left a lot to be desired. Not sure if its the age on it, but its just not a very interesting barleywine. A bit too boozy and the hops flavors are mostly faded but the bitterness is still kicking around. Meh...
04-20-2013 03:32:07 | More by davey101
3.38/5 rDev -7.4%
I tried the 2010 Reserve. Served from a 22-oz. bottle into a large tumbler. This is one to let warm up a bit before you drink it.
A: Cloudy, amber pour. Nice head, fades fairly quickly leaving yeasty bubbles. Some lace but not that much on side of glass.
S: Strong alcohol scent. Caramel, honey aroma, with a floral, piney hops scent on the back end. Dried apricots/raisins, too.
T: High alcohol content is apparent. This would be good to set down for a couple more years I think. Sweet and sour flavor, with some umami underneath. Finishes quite bitter with the hops.
M: This is a chewy beer, with a medium-high amount of carbonation. Alcohol content makes it almost more like drinking a mead.
O: I liked this big beer qutie a bit. I have one more bottle, that I am going to age until XMas 2013.
01-16-2012 03:15:36 | More by PacNWDad
3.38/5 rDev -7.4%
2011 Vintage. 22 oz served in a snifter.
a: deep garnet with a tinge of brown. Head off white that dissipates quickly leaving tight lacing and sticky bubbles on the edge of the glass. Lacing lingers all the way through
s: aroma starts with burnt sugar, almond toffee, toasted grain, dried black mission figs, and a spicy, earthy, and herb note from the hops. Is that a mushroom note in there? Undertone of alcohol and a whiskey like pineapple note.
t: flavor starts with a bright citrus with notes of toffee, caramelized sugar, dates, figs, earthy and spicy hops, bitterness is clean, strong but soft and lingers on. Alcohol noticeable.
m: medium full body with very low carbonation (acceptable to me in this style). Lingering bitterness that shows its age and a fairly dry finish.
o: good barleywine but not as profound as I had expected. Nice and rich full flavor with a great nose.
03-21-2013 00:32:13 | More by Kerfluffel
3.4/5 rDev -6.8%
650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 bottle.
Appearance - Deep orange. Small white head. Retains well.
Smell - Citrus hop. Grapefruit. Slight oxidation. Sweet caramel malt. Smells like a standard barleywine.
Taste - More of a balance to the hops and malt. Grapefruit. Sweet caramel. Oxidation. Bitter.
Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium carbonation. Tastes like it's getting old.
Overall - Generic, but it's tasty.
10-04-2013 23:50:31 | More by Alieniloquium
3.43/5 rDev -6%
Part of a four way blind barleywine taste test.
Pours orange-tan color. Pretty murky.
Smell is a bit mild, somewhat malty.
Taste was bitter, a bit boozy, but good balance between malt and hops. Fruity and spicy, and a good bitter kick.
Very drinkable considering abv.
Decent, but nothing over the top. Probably not worth the money though. Better than Dick's, but not as good as Green Flash or Full Sail.
07-15-2013 04:21:05 | More by Smurf2055
3.51/5 rDev -3.8%
New Review "2011 Reserve bottle #239/6200 " so says the label.. Poured into my HotD goblet. decent off white head... nice lacing and cap atop a clear light copper brew.
Nose is very hoppy... a nice balance of toasty maltiness... Pretty good PNW nose... Much better integrated than my last review.
Flavor is very well meshed between the toasty/light caramel malts and the hoppy bitterness and hoppy flavors... Hops show as more pithy citrus notes but a subtle piney hoppiness also raises its head.
Body is a solid medium with a light/medium carbonation... mouthfeel is definitely PNW with a residual hoppy oiliness..
Pretty well done... I had a 2013 Bigfoot last night, and I think Critical Hit certainly holds it own.
22 picked up at the COOP .... bottle # 2729/5000 ... Paid a pricey $12ish... Poured into my little Cigar City snifter.... short lasting head, but it still provides nice sheets of lacing but a pretty thin cap... the brew is a fairly clear orange/lite amber.
nose seems to be a bit all over the place... aromatic citrus hoppiness with a good floral overtone... toasty maltiness with some minor caramel... pretty boozy.... a bit of something that I identify as "apricot" ..
Flavor is pretty thin... toasty pale malt sweetness with a bruising bitterness that really begins mid palate and doesn't let up until about :20 after the swallow... hops are more nondescript than the nose, I still get mild citrus, but an ever so slight piney quality edges it out.. long finish, bitter and mildly sweet... EtOH is swinging a large path...
the sweetness is there, but it doesn't jive at all with the body... the body is light/medium (especially for the style).. I think the booze is cutting through this one pretty readily... I hesitate to say fusel alcohols, but it is damn hot right now.
I have a bottle for the cellar and a couple more on hold at a bottle shop until I can make it across town.... but honestly, I doubt I will open another one of these for a couple years... That said, I don't believe this is going to get much better. Time in the bottle is going to do nothing for the body and the lack of flavor... Decent first release for an American Barleywine, but it needs to be dialed in significantly with more body and flavor.
I really wanted to like this one more.... Ninkasi is doing cool work for sure, but I am curious how this one crept through the cracks.... I would have kegged it all and let the draft lines flow.
01-18-2012 06:57:57 | More by JohnGalt1
Critical Hit from Ninkasi Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.