S1nist0r Black Ale - 10 Barrel Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
S1nist0r Black AleS1nist0r Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

64 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 189
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 6
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 189
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.45/5  rDev +24.3%
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. (307 characters)

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (2,427 characters)

Photo of quetzal013
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into pint glass. First, not much on the head, fizzled out pretty quick. Color is a very dark amber, almost black with back-lighting. This beer is by no means elite but it is easy drinking and not bad on the tastebuds. If I was playing a few rounds of Mike Tyson's Punch Out on my NES I could run through a bomber pretty quick. I feel like I want to like this brewer so much... small OR brewer, Fonzie type names, small distribution. I'm not sure how long they have been around but would be curious.

So it goes like this, there are slight coffee/chocolate notes, nice, subtle. There is almost a dry tartness to it, like sour but not quite. Something wants to make me taste fruit at the end, but there is a fleeting sense to it, like an 80's pop song, but an average 80's pop song, not terrific like Take on Me.

Overall, nice beer, easy drinker, low ABV for sessioning with the pals. I like that they are a small brewer and they have great potential!! I would retry their brews if I had the chance but they seem a bit immature still. (1,047 characters)

Photo of jdense
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at EOU Faculty Lounge, $12 pitcher split with a buddy, 4.14.11. I don't believe the Brown Ale designation is correct, this is certainly an attempt at a CDA, and the recipe has certainly changed since last review.

One finger light tan head, medium dissipation with minimal lacing over dark brown/almost black opaque body. Nose features good dose of roasted malt balanced by floral hops. Taste is predominantly roasted malts, picked up some faint chocolate notes once it warmed significantly, citrus hops, no bitterness to speak of on backend. Medium mouthfeel, decent effervescence, a wee bit sticky. This is what they are talking about when they call CDAs hoppy Porters. I know I'm spoiled by my proximity to Barley Brown's Turmoil, the benchmark for the style evidenced by first Gold medal at GABF in the category, I just didn't find this that interesting and certainly not hoppy enough for my liking. (910 characters)

Photo of chumba526
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

It appears brownish black with a mild brown full-bodied head.

It smells quite sweet and fruity. I get a bit of a citrus and slightly sour smell to the beer. There is a very nice vanilla, coffee and chocolate smell. It has a great smell to it.

It tastes slightly sour. There is a mellow coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavor to the ale. I get a bit of a mild caramel flavor. There is a mild fruity aftertaste I get a bit of a raison and citrus flavor. This is a fairly mellow beer. I feel that though the flavor is quite mild that the beer has a great balance to it. It is a very smooth ale.

There is a moderate low carbonation. It has a great silky and smooth carbonation. I am impressed with how great the mouth-feel is in this beer.

The drinkability is pretty good it goes down smooth but it is not that exciting of a beer so I would only order a glass or two of this beer.

Overall a very nice simple ale that has a nice flavor. (934 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
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... (584 characters)

Photo of olmatty
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance-Pours a brownish black beer with sticky lacing and a high pillowy head.

Smell-Light roast and brown bread.

Taste-Medium roast, dark sour German bread. Middling herbal
hop presence.

Mouthfeel-Moderately full bodied and somewhat sticky.

Drinkability-Smooth and drinkable, but frankly a bit boring. Billed as as black ale, this beer is a darker brown ale with a bit more roast. (391 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
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 (632 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -7%
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. (1,907 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (437 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (1,216 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
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 (450 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
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 (466 characters)

Photo of zoolzoo
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle tells me "black ale" (whatever that is exactly), BA labels this a brown ale. I must say, this is like no brown that I have had.

My personal take on this brew is that its sort of a light porter. The nose and taste take on the dark, roasty chracteristics of a porter, yet the mouthfeel is light and highly carbed. Its not a bad tasting brew by any means, alas it suffers from a bit of an identity crisis.

Imagine a decent american porter flavor profile but strip away the body, replace it with the mouthfeel that approches light lager territory. I enjoyed it, but it just didnt fully come together for me. (619 characters)

Photo of Docer
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
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! (1,056 characters)

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of blackc5
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass at 47F.

A - Quite dark and black, this had a high carbonation head that wasn't going anywhere fast, and minimal lacing.

S - Malts and molasses, some hints of smoke, and just a touch of chocolate.

T - Although generally, this tastes ok, this comes off as a beer that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. It is a VERY dark brown ale, or a weak American porter. I would say it is closer to the latter, but it feels a bit under-flavored and wimply in that regards. The overall flavor is slightly sweet roasted malts with a touch of nuttiness and chocolate.

M - Highly carbonated, medium bodied. Fairly smooth but a bit thin, and not a real standout.

D - ABV is pretty low, and it goes down easy enough. But, I would pass on buying it again. Was expecting a lot more with a name like Sinister (no matter the silly spelling). (871 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.02/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- The bottle says Black Ale, and I was hoping for something along the lines of a dark thick beer, especially when you have a name like Sinistor Black. But the beer is more the color of Orval bottle glass, perhaps a shade darker. There is a decent amount of head, but it fades fairly quickly.

S- This has some nice chocolate and coffee notes to it. It reminds me of the Quilter Irish Death by Iron Horse. There is something meaty about the chocolate smell.

T- Well this tastes more like an American Porter. There is a mild amount of coffee, and chocolate flavors. But nothing about this beer, other then perhaps its color would even make me think Brown Ale. Perhaps that is just a mistake by the person who added the beer to the site. I'm saying this is more of a porter then anything else. It isn't too bad, it is a bit weak, but it grows on you.

M- This is where I find the biggest let down with the beer. I mean cool label, great name, I'm looking for something thick black potent. But not the case, this beer is thin, and I mean thin. I was expecting to have to chew a bit, just based off the name, instead I ended up with carbonated water. I've actually had water thicker then this. If I were to look at this as an American Porter I can see how a thin mouthfeel would fit, but I wasn't expecting this, and it bugged me the whole time I was drinking this.

D- If I were to use the Bud Light scale of drinkability (as in thin and completely chugable) then this would be spot on. This does have nice flavors, and is easy to drink quickly.

Pic Added (1,554 characters)

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The sinister black ale pours a dark black with a small foam head and not much in the way of retention. It is characterized as a brown but I thought it said black ale on the bottle.

The aroma is malty with no much hop aroma. The taste is smooth with a faint raisin in it. The mouthfeel is a little silky and overall not a bad black ale. Overall not my favorite style but a easy going drinker. (392 characters)

Photo of madtappers
2.62/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this on draft at 3 Monkeys Pub in Vancouver, WA.

First apperance this is black as night with a 1 inch brownish head.

The carmalized malts dominate the taste here. Not sure what style this really is not truely a porter or stout, yet not an amber or brown ale.

Either way the beer is smooth, but not impressive. (316 characters)

Photo of cbarrett4
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
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! (310 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (1,131 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
3.91/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (1,071 characters)

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S1nist0r Black Ale from 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.