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Critical Hit - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Critical HitCritical Hit

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.52%
Wants: 8
Gots: 10 | 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: 55 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

2.6/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 08:47:15 | More by mactrail
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

2.5/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 11:46:02 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.24/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2013 22:26:35 | More by John_M
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

3.75/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

***

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.

3.5/3/3/3/3

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 06:57:57 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 23:50:31 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2013 03:54:09 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

3/5  rDev -17.8%

03-28-2012 01:39:28 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

3.25/5  rDev -11%

07-05-2013 03:57:45 | More by illidurit
Photo of twelveinches
twelveinches

Washington

4/5  rDev +9.6%

01-31-2012 06:49:52 | More by twelveinches
Photo of kscaldef
kscaldef

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

10-25-2013 18:14:26 | More by kscaldef
Photo of Exiled
Exiled

Texas

4/5  rDev +9.6%

05-27-2012 18:34:55 | More by Exiled
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 05:45:16 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

4/5  rDev +9.6%

03-28-2012 02:22:16 | More by birchstick
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +9.6%

03-22-2014 06:14:25 | More by Rutager
Photo of IrishColonial
IrishColonial

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

09-08-2013 00:43:04 | More by IrishColonial
Photo of Kopfschuss
Kopfschuss

Oregon

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

12-07-2012 17:55:05 | More by Kopfschuss
Photo of RoryOMoore
RoryOMoore

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

04-01-2012 04:38:28 | More by RoryOMoore
Photo of brotherloco
brotherloco

California

3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 22:45:33 | More by brotherloco
Photo of Hopmodium
Hopmodium

Washington

4/5  rDev +9.6%

05-22-2013 02:49:53 | More by Hopmodium
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2014 03:22:20 | More by woemad
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

03-17-2012 11:19:47 | More by pixieskid
Photo of mc4z
mc4z

California

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

02-11-2014 16:32:54 | More by mc4z
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (3.5)
- A rather clear amber colored pour. About a finger of off-white foamy head which has settled to a big bubbly spotty mess in the glass. Not bad looking at all, but not what I really expected. I am used to more cloudy, darker barleywines.

Smell: (3.5)
- Sweet caramel grain notes which seems to be rather tucked away in the brew. Certainly some strong alcohol and rubbing alcohol aromas. There is a nice fruity and citrus-like hop presence as well. Seems hot and fresh.

Taste: (3.5)
- Sweet malts, bready caramel and quite biscuity. Bitter grassy hops with an earthy flare. The alcohol presence is quite noticeable and hot.. but the flavor isn't quite rubbing alcohol.. though close. It does have a character of its own which is hard to describe. Overall hot, and needs to sit.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Nice medium to full body and is a little creamy and well carbonated. It's explosive bitterness really dries the tongue, but the sweetness lends a lasting chewy character. Overall quite a decent feel to it.

Overall: (3.5)
- Not bad.. and in usual Ninkasi tradition, this puppy is bitter! Lots of early boil hops going on here. It's a bit strong, and could certainly use some time in a cold cellar. Though I don't feel this barleywine would get any better, it just may calm down the alcohol notes a bit. Certainly a good attempt though.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 01:18:43 | More by Docer
Photo of avaldivia
avaldivia

California

3/5  rDev -17.8%

02-21-2012 06:16:20 | More by avaldivia
Photo of sharpski
sharpski

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

02-15-2012 20:34:35 | More by sharpski
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Critical Hit from Ninkasi Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.