S1nist0r Black Ale - 10 Barrel Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
S1nist0r Black AleS1nist0r Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

187 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 187
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 5
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
10 Barrel Brewing Co. visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedDiamond on 10-21-2008

We craft our S1NIST0R Black Ale using a special German dehusked black malt that is free of astringency, giving the beer a rich black color without the traditional dark beer characteristics. You will notice subtle hints of chocolate with an easy drinking balance on the back end. In the glass the dark color may look intimidating to some, but don't let this beer fool you. Our unique combination of malts creates a very light body and smooth finish.

28 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 187 | Reviews: 65
Reviews by sommersb:
Photo of sommersb
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tasted On: 10-18-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance is highlighted by a huge head of 5 to 6 fingers, tan and frothy. I thought that may just be from the first pour, but subsequent pours are almost as massive. Color is almost completely black, save for some brown tinges seen when the glass is held to light. Super amounts of lacing and retention on this one.

Aromas are of dark malts and a nice sweetness. The clean character makes me think of a schwarzbier lager, but this is an ale. No hop aromas I can detect.

Taste has a nice malt-forward character, with chocolates and toasted grains. After a bit I get some bitterness, from the hops, some coffee-like flavors and from a bittersweet chocolates.

Mouthfeel is a medium body, clean, with moderate to high carbonation. The finish is dry and somewhat bitter, but the malts are still there. Some off flavors seem to be present as well.

Overall an interesting and good beer, but not remarkable. I'm not sure what style they were after (if any) as it has characteristics of several. I had a higher opinion on the first glass, but the impression lessened as I worked through the bomber.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JTROYER
4.88/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

absolutely deliscious darlk and yet very smooth no bitterness at all amazing. If you like dark beer this is a must try. It's definitely in my top 5 of all time favoriet beers I absolutely absolutely love it. Dark and deliscious just like I like it. Everyone who like dark beer must ry this beer

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging. The head is khaki colored and peaks at just under a finger's width. Retention is average at best, giving way to a broken layer of surface suds. Lacing is small and spotty with little stick.

Smell - Light notes of roasted malt and some cola-like sweetness. Hints of milk chocolate.

Taste - Follows the nose. General malt sweetness with hints of cola, chocolate, and very light coffee roast. Subtle notes of fruity esters and maybe even a hint of vanilla and anise in there. A light, 'brightly dark' flavor profile, if that makes any sense.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Lightly silky texture, delivering a smooth, easy drinking experience.

Overall - Pretty good black lager / scharzbier, especially condsidering the style. It's a difficult style to pull off, IMO, because it doesn't quite excel in any particular area. This one has some uniqueness, and it's undoubtedly due to the ale yeast used. Don't go out of your way for it, but definitely something to try if readily available.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another rarity (in these parts, anyway) from msubulldog25. Word to ya, Brian! I dig the thin label strip running vertically from one side of the neck, over the cap and over the other side. Cool! I lack the technical word for this little accoutrement, if there is a word.

Well, it ain't black, but it sure is a dark, dark, dark brown. Nearly opaque, with dark red tinting. The head is a quarter-inch and off-white, reducing to a crown pretty quickly.

Nose is a bright, fresh, nutty thing, hazelnut mostly, along with sweet cream. A little bit of smoke, and a flash of juicy grape and plum round it out, as does some root beer and cola.

Flavor is pretty much all that the aroma hints it will be--nutty toasted grains mostly, but also cola, grape and a milky sweetness. An herbal flare rests in the background, adding some depth. A bit of a tart edge, especially into the finish.

Feel is lively, with carbonation tickling the tongue but not assaulting it, while the body is on the lighter side, remarkably slick and slippery.

And hey, a nice herbal burp results with this one! Overall, Sinister (or S1nist0r) is an enjoyable and solid beer that offers a somewhat interesting take on the well-worn brown ale style.

Photo of hreb
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

S1nist0r Black Ale. A schwarz bier fermented with ale yeast -- or, as previously stated, a black ale. Perhaps a black Kölsch would be a better description. 22oz bottle served in a curved stout glass. Beer pours on the brown side of black, with a thin tan head, and yields a mild, malty aroma. Flavor is mild and fizzy. Like, a lot mild, though what flavors there are (nutty, hazelnut) are pleasant enough, except for the high carbonation this could be a legitimate session ale.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finger of head, black colored body.
Smell is roasted malt, burnt wood and chocolate with good balance.
Taste has a great roast malt flavor with a little sweet bite.
Fizzy texture. Moderate carbonation and medium body. Slightly sticky.
A pretty good black ale.

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to the BA who sent this one out to me as an extra in a past trade. Shared this one with my doppelganger after a day at the gun store. Served from bottle into a New Jersey Devils (my inner Penguins fan is pissed!) shaker. Poured a massively dark amber brown with a four finger off-white head head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, earth, earth hop, and subtle spice. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, spice, earth, earth hop, fruit, dark chocolate, and subtle fruit hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. For the style there really wasn't a lot of roastiness going on in this one as it was more sweet and earthy than anything else. While this was kind of surprising, I really didn't mind it too much if I am honest. This did keep it quite enjoyable throughout the beer, but it just fell a little short of what one would expect from the style. Still a good brew, but just not up there for the style. Worth your time trying at least once, but if you enjoy the roastiness this one MIGHT not be for you.

Photo of Docer
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Heard a lot about 10 barrel brewing... missed a tasting at The BeerMongers... and have always seen this Sinister Black bottle around. Finally snagged one up to try... why this as the more common 10 barrel sold around I am wondering?

- Poured into a tall and narrow Hopworks pint mug... can still barely see through it.... very dark brown and clear... minimal head and carbonation in the pour. Leaves a rather light pillow of head.

- Spicy and herbal hop flare on the nose... very pine-like, and very hop-like... the hops I like. Subtle sweet grain notes, light chocolate malt... and oats.

- Smooth balanced lightly sweetened grainy choco brew with a nice slam of bittering and zesty hops.... smooth, and yet robust. Quite tasty... and I bet this would be wonderful on tap.

- Light to medium bodied.... smooth, little chewy... overall pleasant.

- This is quite good, balanced, and tasty.... caught me a tad off guard... especially after reading some of the previous reviews. I am seeing that some are just not very fair. This brew deserves more credit!

Photo of ThaCrax
3.17/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was expecting an aggressive Black Ale... so that didn't work out for me lol. This was like a sheep in wolves clothing to me. Intimidating exterior, but tame and mild in reality. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I was looking for either.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz from the current seasonal mixed 12-pack... Black brew with khaki head, no real lacing or retention.. All about the malts, a bit of sweetness with some light cocoa and dry toast to add complexity.. light spicy hoppiness.. a bit of fruitiness on the end that makes me think of Dr. Pepper. Okay... I've had this brew many times and doubt I would buy it again after giving it a proper go-around... Fizzy, with nothing interesting on the body.

3.5/3.75/3.5/3.25/3.5

Photo of josiahschlender
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the beers in a mixed pack from 10 Barrel that I picked up. I'm wondering about the name... isn't Schwarzbier a lager? Why call it an ale? I've always wondered that about Dead Guy, too. I personally like it when breweries in this area of the country branch out and brew interesting lagers; if anything I'm more likely to grab one off the shelf if it looks different than the run of the mill ales around it.

It pours dark brown but allows more light through than most brews of this color. Not much head faded quickly and leaves scant lace. Looks like black coffee to me, actually.

Nose is pleasant but faint. A big inhale yields something kind of bready, yeasty and sweet that reminds me of overnight waffles that my wife makes with yeast leavening, with syrup on top.

Flavors are also pleasant and understated. Bready malts with sweetness like molasses and faintly earthy hops. Low carbonation and light body is a good mouthfeel match to the flavors. This is the only non-IPA in the mixed pack from 10 Barrel, and it's a nice change of pace from the hops. (But Joe IPA was my favorite overall.)

10 Barrel must have been in a quirky mood when naming this beer. Not only is "Ale" in the name puzzling to me since I believe this is a lager, a play on "sinister" doesn't fit either. This is a mild-mannered, easy going drink that would play nice with a variety of food.

Photo of IPAguy2009
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- dark Pepsi color

S-smokey dark chocolate, meh

T- dark malt lightly hopped

M- pretty light and light carbonation

O- just a sub par black ale, nothing too special here. Just taste like a dark ale that is pretty light a good for drinking casually. Get something else

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pours a light roasted chocolate color, almost like a very thin porter, nice three finger head forms and falls pretty slow leaving nice lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malt, some faint dark fruit, raisin, very light chocolate, a little bready.

T: Smooth light roasted malt, follows the nose for the most part, just a hint of hop on the finish that seems to crisp things up nicely.

M: Lighter body, very nice carbonation, very smooth going down and a dry finish.

D: This is meant to go down smooth and does so very nicely.

Photo of cbarrett4
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice head settling to a decent lace; good and dark. Aromas are mostly malty, dark, roasted with fresh coffee and roasted nuts. The flavor is rich and polished with deep, dark flavors. Has a great texture and balance. Finishes smooth and balanced but with a slight edge from the alcohol. Very nice!

Photo of nqdell
4.56/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

5 Star beer that may not be perfect for every occasion but is an anomaly of perfection.

Appearance - Read the label, think Spanish coffee.

Smell - Least strongest attribute, but who cares it's winter and you're sinus' are plugged.

Taste - Words so fancy my vocabulary doesn't do justice , sweet and bitter, liquid crunch 'n munch.

Mouthfeel - Like my tongue jumped on a pile of pillows.

Overall - A drinkable "winter" beer. In a category by itself and won't compare to overbearing , stomach filling, fancy spiced constituents. It truly is one of a kind.

Photo of Reidrover
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz from Capilat Market, Salem. Very nicely presented bottle with the red ribbon 'seal" over the cap. Pitch black beer with a really nice frothy,bubbly, big tan head. Aroma creamy coffeee and hot milk, very nice. Flavour is quite nice semi-bitter coffee and slightly dark chocolate tastes, some dark fruits maybe some prune. OK on the palate..not as thick as i expected, but makes this well drinkable. Overall a nice beer.
More of a schwarzbier IMO

Photo of Purplehat
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great. Smooth with enough bite at the back end, which makes it very refreshing. After trying roughly 15 different beers at The Growler Guys grand opening in Idaho, this was the growler I chose

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This appears like a regular stout with the mild khaki carbonation, deep brown/blackish hues and nice malty roasted character.

S: The nose has a very light smokiness to it with a mild sweetness. A bit watery, nothing to lose your mind over. A solid beer depending on how much you pay for it.

T: The taste is thin and refreshing with an almond sweetness to it. There’s a very faint bit of milkiness and maple syrup but the palate is so thin you don’t really have time to focus on it. There’s a good balance to it with some mild bittering. The hops present a cocoa dryness that rounds it out nicely.

M: This is very thin but it doesn’t feel like it came up short, it feels intentional, and that somehow makes it ok. The lacing is fantastic, but the coating is relatively minimal, which is a bit anomalous. Again, not disappointing though. I always feel like when someone presents a black ale, it is a genre that is so amorphous it is tough to really determine what you are about to get. Someimtes you get an imperial stout monster like Labyrinth, other times you get this dapper gentleperson. Who can ever tell.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and the color is the only thing that might be offputting to people. It is a strange hybrid that brings a bit of IPA to the table and a bit of Stout in the mix. Overall, pretty solid beer and I would recommend a bomber or two to any willing participant.

Narrative: The hackneyed carriage clipped along steadily over the cobblestone streets and the slick London night was further obfuscated by misty clouds. Sir Grimsly peered at his silver pocket watch and sighed at how long the opera had taken. His finely tailored suit of rich velvet fit precisely and his jet black hair was slicked with a fragrant pomade. “Carlton, please, slow a bit!” He called to the carriage driver. He lifted the lacy ebony curtain and looked out into the dark night and noticed a single cat, staring intently upon the carriage as it slid to a stop. The cat peered knowingly and its obsidian coat shined in the night. It appeared to nod and signal to the magistrate. With a blink it disappeared. Sir Grimsley looked up and noted the mandate from today’s proceedings laying on the adjacent seat, unexecuted. With a forceful sigh, Sir Grimsley signed the stay of execution and set the prisoner free. The night shone with a furious depth, the slick streets ploshed with knowing applause.

Photo of vkv822
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

served in tulip pint.

Black with espresso edges when held to light, foamy light tan head.

Cocoa, mocha, very faint roast. Faint earthy hops, if any.

Medium- body, mild fizzy carbonation.

A well done beer, definitely more similar to a Schwarzbier than an American Black Ale in the flavor and mouthfeel. Very little hop presence with a smooth, mocha profile.

Photo of osbartender
4.7/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great clean finish...much better on draft

Photo of GreenCard
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: brown, good clarity, thick layer of tan fine-beaded foam, good head retention

Aroma: malty and chocolatey; hints of dust, grain, and molasses

Flavor: medium malt sweetness balanced by a smooth roast; touch of brown sugar and some acidity; finishes semisweet with a lingering maltiness and not much hops

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, somewhat slick

Other comments: Tastes a lot different than I expected. It's basically a porter.

Photo of flexabull
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.

First off, don't think this should be categorized as a brown ale, this is more like a black ale.

Anyways... Pours a dark black color with a faint white head.

Aromas are of cocoa, cream, and hints of chocolate. Nose is faint, but pleasant.

Taste is doughy up front, kind of like pretzel dough. Some light creamy coffee, and with a crisp mineral hop finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Crisp carbonation and a nice overall full feeling.

Drinkability is also good. The more I drink this the more I think it could be a black lager. Interesting and tasty whatever it is...

Photo of beerme343
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually had never heard of this brewery until early 2012... not under the new 10 Barrel label or the previous name. Turns out they are opening a brewpub in downtown Boise soon, so I will be getting to know them a lot better in the coming months.

Tried the S1nist0r black ale from a 22 oz. brown bottle poured into a standard pint glass. The head is several fingers high - an off white tannish color, while the beer is Coke colored deep brown/black with a hint of red when held to the light.

The aroma is remarkable with a nice roasted malt, a bit of pumpernickel bread and a little banana thrown in for good measure.

The flavor has a nice blend of roasty java/cocoa bitterness, a little rainier cherry or golden plum and some banana bread comes through as well.

The beer has good effervescence followed by a nice hop note and a lingering finish.

The flavors and aromas of this beer are a little out of the ordinary (especially considering they are all elements of one beer) but it is very drinkable. I definitely found that it grew on me after I got over the initial confusion of the smells and flavors. Not exactly what I've come to expect out of a Cascadian Dark/Black Ale, but appealing nonetheless. This might be able to be refined a bit to make into something truly special, but it is good as is and it is nice to see brewmasters thinking outside the box.

Photo of Vancoubeer
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to trying this. Black Ale that was made like a Schwarz Bier sounds interesting...especially the ale yeast instead of lager yeast. Pours out like a porter. A good dark brown and as it settles in the glass its dark as night. No light gets through the brew when held up to the light except for the top of the rim of the beer. It has kind of a light brown hue. The head was a thick creamy khaki color that faded away quickly with a very thin head stay around. The smell, when cold has a hint of bread and chocolate at front and a subtle roast in the end. The taste has a very sweet flavor with a hint of roasty peat and bitter chocolate. No hops at all. Very sessionable dark beer with flavor that does not stick around. Its tasty and makes you want some more. The mouthfeel is very thin. Not too carbonated. Very watery texture. Its not bad but its color yells thick dark goodness but the low 5.7% abv is most evident in this portion of the beer. I have had 8% dark beers with a thicker mouthfeel but similar flavor. However, this is not a negative, just a part of the beer that is hard to anticipate when pouring it out of the bottle. Giving a second pour I looked more at the liquid and it looks like cola, which confirms the very thin mouthfeel to this beer. This is a good beer. Not something that screams buy again but its definitely one worth trying. Its an interesting beer. It has properties like a porter and of a schwarz bier. And overall, for under 4 dollars, worth the price.

Photo of zeledonia
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Camping out in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, and I picked this up at a little gas station convenience store. My first beer from this brewery. Tasted 19 July 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours dark chocolatey brown, with an abundant thick pillowy medium-tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Very nice.

Smell is nice as well, an interesting blend of light-bodied but deep-flavored chocolate malts with a touch of floral hops, and a tiny bit of orange. The kind of black ale aroma that I like, with a lovely dark-light balance and contrast. Feels light but smells dark.

Taste is bland and dull. I'm struggling to pull any flavors out of it. Even accounting for the effects of altitude, there's not much to it. It's especially weird, given how pleasant and varied the smell is. It's not bad, but it's nearly flavorless.

Mouthfeel is fine. Light-bodied, plenty of carbonation.

Where's the flavor? The smell is really nice, but the taste doesn't follow it at all. An odd experience.

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S1nist0r Black Ale from 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.