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S1nist0r Black Ale - 10 Barrel Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
S1nist0r Black AleS1nist0r Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

65 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 200
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 11.94%
Wants: 7
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
10 Barrel Brewing Co. visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.70% 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 200
Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fudge color with auburn highlights; the tan heads starts out fairly impressive and grows rocky over time, leaving a few strands behind

Smell: Licorice and chocolate, with caramel blended in

Taste: Licorice, chocolate and caramel, up front, with just a touch of earthy hops in the back; no variation noted, after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; just a tad acqueous

Overall: Tastes more like a Schwarz than an American Black, to be honest, and if I were reviewing it as such, the scores would be a tad higher; easy to drink, though I would like to see a bit more hop balance, particularly given where the beer was brewed

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest."

--Hermann Hesse

Burnt walnut brown with rust orange edges and a massive number of uprushing bubbles. The ecru colored crown filled the vast majority of the glass on the pour and isn't shrinking very quickly. As the foam melts and becomes rocky, the beer takes on the appearance of a black cow (Coke and ice cream) or a root beer float. More sudsy ribbons of lace stick than were expected.

The aroma is darker than a brown ale and lighter than a stout (but closer to the latter). That often happens when black malt is used. It's also somewhat spicy, in a phenolic way, which doesn't necessarily bode well for the flavor profile.

It's highly likely that the mouthfeel is at least partly to blame, but 10 BB S1nist0r Black Ale is not a wonderful example of.... whatever style it is. Again, the use of black malt means that it tastes nothing like a brown ale. Although time is helping to calm the carbonation storm, there isn't much depth when the beer is judged on its own merits.

Black licorice and dark caramel dominate the flavor profile. There's a little black tea leaf bitterness that is easily countered by a modest amount of sweetness. The result is a leveling balance, rather than the contrasting balance that most well-brewed beer delivers. A dark fruit tanginess sneaks in with continued warming.

The mouthfeel is too light, regardless of the ABV. In addition, it suffers the fate of most overbubbled beer. That is, it's way too fizzy early and is borderline flat by the midway point of the bottle. With even an above average mouthfeel, the scores on either side might have been one notch higher.

When properly carbonated, S1nist0r (note the buried '10') Black Ale is probably about as good as this brewery's Apocalypse IPA. If it was more easily available, I'd give it another go round to see if my suspicions are correct.

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Photo of mactrail
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown, near black in the Belgian chalice. Persistently creamy carbonation in the mouth is the nicest feature. There's a touch of the charred sourness in the nose.

A black marshmallow of a beer. Interesting grainy but smooth taste. The malty sweetness is pleasant, more like a Hefeweizen without the esters. Some slight bitterness woodiness at the finish, but not any actual hop flavors. Lots of roasted taste, even a bit of pecan. All quite warm and unobtrusive with just a hint of cocoa.

This is plenty drinkable, though a little flabby somehow. If this is a Schwartzbier, it's still better than most. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Central Market - Shoreline in north Seattle.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Jason - I was under the impression this was a schwarzbier when I reviewed it. Served in a Darkness glass.

A - Quick-dissolving light tan foam that settles to a thin wisp bubbles on top and spotty lace. Dark brown body with some transparent reddish highlights.

S - Roasted malts, some bread, biscuit, and yeast, light cocoa, minimal hop character - guess I shouldn't be surprised as this uses Perle hops.

T - Taste is similar, with a bit more sweetness from the caramel and the cocoa. Light roast character, no hop flavor or hop/roast bitterness.

M - Medium-light body, zesty higher carbonation, dry roasty finish, clean aftertaste.

D - Decent beer - lots of flavor for the lower ABV, but otherwise nothing exciting or special. If this is cheap, you could do a lot worse as this manages to avoid the harsh bitterness and astringency of other black ales.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a dark brown in color with brownish yellow highlights that had a thin head and left a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was filled with toffee character, slight hops, various grain notes, and an slight spice. The taste was also dominated by the toffee like a dopplebock with caramel, various grain, and mild citrus notes. There was a touch of hops but were very subtle and mild spice on the backend. The brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a grainy, slight sweet, but malty finish. It drank good but was not my favorite from the nite. Definitely a session beer after a long day at work

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
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.


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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured jet black with good caronation leaving a nice creamy white cap. A decent amount of lacing is present and the head retention is pretty good.

S: A light char with some chocolate. This style is not known to have a big aromatic nose.

T: Immediate chocolate with a light roast and some deeply charred wood, ash even. It finishes pretty dry with a very light booziness

M: Light to light-medium body, well carbonated. This beer has less bitterness than you get from many thers of this style. Its pretty silky smooth, low astringency and very palatable

O: A very nice Schwarz. Not my style but I can spot a good one and this is pretty good. Easy to drink, by the books. I requested the style be changed to properly reflect the style of the beer, Its not a CDA, or a Black IPA or as somewhat called it ..."brown ale". Its a German lager aka a Schwarzbier. Geez, do some homework people.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep, dark, rich ruby-brown hue, if not quite black. Head poured a thick finger of fizzy tan foam and dissipated somewhat quickly. Not bad, but not majestic like the style usually implies.

Smell: sweet, chocolatey aroma with a little bit of burnt roastiness thrown in. There's also a bit of vegetal hoppiness toward the end. Smells like a decent porter or maybe even a schwarzbier.

Taste: sweet and malty with a little bit of amber-ale character and a very light yeasty spiciness toward the end. Bitterness is low, as is hop character. It really does remind me of a schwarzbier in a lot of ways.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a very big and well-integrated carbonation; the creamy texture balloons out of this bad boy. Awesome!

Overall: a good beer indeed, although perhaps miscategorized. This is, by simple definition, an "American Black Ale", but it definitely does not fit the old "Cascadian Dark Ale" or "Black IPA" categories which "American Black Ale" implies.

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Photo of beertunes
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This 22oz bottle has been sitting in my big boxes o beer for at least 2 years, and possibly 3. Just keep that in mind, and don't use this review as guide to whether or not you should try this beer. IIRC, this one came courtesy of Chumba526 when he did a trip to PDX while living here in Beeringham.

Poured into straight pint glass. Whooosh! The first slight pour produced about 1/10 inch of beer and the rest of the glass full of foam. It took a goodly while (minutes) to settle to the point where I could pour more beer. And the same results occurred throughout the life of the bottle. Eventually I ended up with a beer that was a lightly translucent black with a thick tan head that (obviously) had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma still had some nice floral hops, some grain, a light touch of roast and enough hoppiness to provide a clue that this may have been a hop-bomb when fresh. The roast was much more noticeable on the tongue, there was a decent amount of base grains and still a touch of citrus hops in back.

The body was typical for a CDA, which is what I think this beer is. Drinkability was very good, especially considering that CDA's really aren't my favorite style and the age of this brew. It appears that the brewery is still making this brew, it's worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of dgilks
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colour with a fluffy tan head. Fair head retention.

Deep roast flavour with bitter chocolate and some coffee. Good.

Dark and roasty with a touch of fruitiness and tart roast.

Medium light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A nice, sessionable Black Ale. Solid.

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Photo of Brad007
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, dark brown/almost black hue with a thin, white head into my glass. Resembles a brown ale more than a black ale.

Label starts to make sense. So, this is sort-of a schwarzbier and not american black ale. In that case, there is a decent whiff of clove that one would expect from a dark wheat.

Flavor reflects this too. Lots of clove, nutty bread and just a tiny bit of banana. Chewy, doughy texture.

Mouthfeel is a bit too clean. Could use more body. Still a respectable finish.

A bit of advice to people adding beer in the near future: Please read the label and review the beer then choose the style that is the closest based on the characteristics.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes: thanks goes out to Nate for sending this one my way.

appearance: dark brown with a 1 finger head

smell: roast, caramel, malts, hops,

taste: roasty, caramel, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: it's an alright beer nothing I would go out of my way to track down.


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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a barely translucent reddish sable with a nice pale tan head that leaves behind substantial lacing. Aroma is smoky and malty with a coffee tone and some subtle nuttiness. Smoky roast coffee flavor has nutty, caramel and toffee hints. Texture is smooth and fairly fizzy, rather pleasing.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is black with red edges and lots of tan head and a few larger bubbles. Nose is dark malt, lightly smoked, light hop presence behind with a bit of herbal green hop behind. Taste is not super expressive, dark black malt that is lightly smoked, the hop isn't as prevalent, still a touch green, bitter coffee towards the finish and lingering. Well carbonated smooth medium body. Not bad.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wildfire's Black Ale is a beer in search of both a name and a style category. Though the Cascadian black ale may soon gain recognition as a distinct style, I still think of black ales - even enjoyable ones such as this - as conceptual outcasts. They lack the affirmed roastiness of stouts and porters and often taste so similar to ambers or reds that I have to ask, what's the point? Why take what is otherwise an amber or pale ale recipe and add just enough black patent malts or roast barley to paint it black while leaving the taste essentially the same? Is this novelty or innovation?

Either way, Wildfire's Black Ale gives me no cause for complaint, for it is a genuine pleasure to consume. It is a very chocolaty beer not far removed from a brown ale but in a darker shade of chestnut. It has a chocolaty aroma, a solid head, and wild abstract lace. The body appears clear in the sense of lacking haze or particulate matter, but is nearly opaque brown. It tastes smooth and malty with solid but not overpowering bittering courtesy of Perle hops. Worth seeking.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
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

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this on-tap at Laughing Planet in The Pearl at lunch today; not my first encounter, just the most recent. Pint glass, after a slice of pizza at neighboring Hot Lips.

I added this beer and, yeah, that's REALLY how they spell it...numbers replacing letters, so cute...

A: dark, dark brown - falls short of 'black'; has a faint reddish tint. Poured with a short head, maybe a quarter-finger(?). Fades rapidly to a swirl of film and clinging ring.

S: Husky aroma of dry grains and a notable smokiness. Kind of a 'smoky ashtray', not necessarily bad.

T: Bready malt, toasted to the point of being akin to 'burnt'. Caramel lends a sweetness, some spicier wheat, twist of lemon. The type of beer style (as mentioned in Reddiamond's first review, 'Cascadian Ale') that's a new flavor - intriguing enough for more. Roasted nuts and a cocoa residue in the finish.

M: Just a little thin, not watery. Surprisingly 'refreshing', a modest crispness and carbonation.

D: Tasty and 'sessionable' (though not beholden to the strictest definition). Have enjoyed, if not raved about, this beer whenever I've had it; certainly worth a try.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in Oregon, brought back. Into a Bernardus chalice, this is a very dark, oily black beer with a head that receded nearly immediately, leaving a light film on top. Chocolate and cocoa, slightly powdery smelling, dominate the nose. Pretty good flavor, with lots of chocolate malt balanced by moderately high bitterness (no hop flavor though), and a very light roast overlaying it. Not complex, but a good enough generic dark beer.

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Photo of flexabull
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
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...

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of zeledonia
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
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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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated bomber at 42 degrees into snifter
$ 5/bomber at Blackwell’s
Aroma of roasted malt, lasts
Head small (two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to two mm ring and partial layer
Lacing fair – small segments of narrow rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor weak, roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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S1nist0r Black Ale from 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.