Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial PorterNefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

235 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 235
Hads: 436
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 41
Gots: 47 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 03-05-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 235 | Hads: 436
Photo of benito
2.23/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

From the wax-topped bottle, this poured a midnight black with a good, slightly tan head. The aroma was a light cocoa with a hint of coffee: a very restrained bouquet that made me wonder just how strong this would prove to be. Restraint characterizes the taste which my friend (who was also trying it) described as "water with an aftertaste of porter." The cocoa flavor was distinct and present, but lacking was the characteristic robustness of a classic porter. This was light (read: watery) in body and offered little for my mouth to chew on.

For a bomber offering, this is a disappointingly weak beer. Not recommended.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.33/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was not very impressed with this beer. I think including the word "imperial" in a beer raises my expectations, and this beer didn't really meet those. I didn't find this beer to be particularly roasty, but it did offer a fair amount of cereal and malt-ball flavor (although not to the degree of some maibocks or doppel-bocks) which I don't particularly care for nor do I think is especially appropriate for this style.

Appearance was what you might expect for a porter, as it was black and had a significant amount of tan head. Aroma was a bit cerealy with moderate amounts of dark roasty smell. Flavor was not great - not roasty and flavor was dominated by cerealness and milk-ball flavors that I found unappealing and felt were inappropriate for a porter. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I expected, but this beer was by no means watery.

Not really recommended. There are far better imperial stouts, baltic porters, and American strong ales out there to try.

I bought this bottle at Liquor Mart in Boulder when visiting CO to attend the Great American Beer Fest. I brought it back to Milwaukee in my wooden leg and split this bottle with Surly Sober.

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Photo of match1112
2.68/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

when i poured this i thought i was pouring a pepsi. has that cola colored body with a short whispy head that fizzes out. smell is below average for a porter, let alone an imperial one. i gotta try real hard to find anything in there, but sure enough there is some roasted aromas. taste is pretty weak as well for an imperial. mostly over roasted malts with some liquid smoke added. has a medium body with less than average carbonation and a dry smokey finish. will not buy again or recommend anybody else buys either.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.68/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another interesting brew from boatshoes. Thanks again man!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A dark brown and transparent pour yields a two finger, overly noisy and crackling tan head with surprisingly good retention. Dark brown in color, almost black, with lots of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a good wisp and ring and coats the sides of the glass with lace. Lots of carbonation decorates the top of the brew. Despite the annoying head and higher levels of carbonation, the lacing down the glass looks quite good and saves this one a bit.

SMELL: Big nose for sure. Dark malts, caramel malt, with a good dose of dark fruit. Raisins, dates and some spicy notes show up as well, with some obvious smoked malts in there. This one reminds me more of a Belgian strong dark ale than a porter. It’s nice, but not to style at all really.

TASTE: Not what I’d expected at all. This is definitely an imperial porter in name only. Dark malts are there with some light caramel as well, but lots of dark fruits ransack the mid palate. Raisins, dates, and a light spicy yeast quality shows up as well. The finish is fruity, and the spicy yeast really piles it on. The bold and lingering aftertaste is spicy, fruity, with a touch of caramel, dark malts, and a hint of chocolate bitterness. There are some porter qualities in there, but the Belgian strong dark ale characteristics are much more dominant.

PALATE: Medium body and medium-low levels of carbonation. Not creamy really, but goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky as well. A touch of alcohol at the swallows, which wasn’t expected for the abv.

OVERALL: Surprisingly enough, I actually quite liked this. It was flavorful, complex, and quite fun to pick appart. It is, however, hard to score a good beer that completely trashes the style. This was an imperial porter in name only, and can be more accurately described as a Belgian strong dark ale with some porter influences. Hence the average score in smell and taste. One I would drink again, but would definitely avoid if I was looking for a porter. Thanks again boatshoes. This was an interesting and fun brew to drink.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into New Holland tulip.

A: deep brown/black with some light brown highlight, white head with a little bit of lacing

S: big deep cocoa and molasses notes, smells slightly sweet with big time bitterness from the cocoa notes, a touch of hops in there too

T: chocolate, molasses and oat start the palate out, but it quickly thins out and become a sweet metallic and slightly acidic flavor. This could be due to a bit a oxidization. The flavor start out nice but then become unpleasant.

MF: thin body for style, medium carbonation

O: this beer is average for the style. I have no information about the bottle date of this bottle, but it seems to be dated a bit.

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Photo of kbutler1
2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Picked this one up at Binny's while I was in Chicago. Pours a deep brown like cola with a very slight light tan head. Sweet light coffee like aromas in the nose with maybe a touch of vanilla. Sweet toffee like flavor followed by a light roast like coffee flavor. A little sweet. Kind of surprised this is an Imperial by the mouthfeel, way too light in my opinion. Medium mouthfeel. A very blah beer. Nothing really all that great in my opinion.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.91/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks for sharing, Rich.

Pours dark brown in color with a small khaki head. Not an overly impressive nose. Despite being watery, it displays an impressive amount of metal and an acrid roastiness. A little bit of chocolate and maybe a hint of coffee. The flavor is not quite as metallic, but the flavor is similarly lackluster. Some old chocolate and a little bit of coffee to go with the roasted malt and bitterness.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pt 6 fl oz waxed bottle served in a pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a nearly black color with a tan 1 finger head. The head is decently thick, but retention is pretty bad, even considering the abv.

S - Roasted barley, smoke, cream, faint coffee and some light spice. A mild aroma (maybe too mild).

T - Follows the nose closely. Roasted malt foundation with artificial smoke, some cream, plum and evident, spicy alcohol. The balance is totally skewed in this one. Not built too well. I have to ask: Why deviate so much from the original Ten Pin?

M - Medium bodied, slick and wet. Even if the flavors were there this body couldn't support it.

D - An inferior offering, even to the original. I won't be having this again, especially when the original Ten Pin is better. Simple, unbalanced, and the ABV is entirely too present.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.01/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

8% ABV confirmed. 650ml brown glass bottle with blue wax-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local CO bottle shop and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. Reviewed as an imperial porter since that's what the label identifies it as; nothing suggests it's actually a baltic porter.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of khaki colour which recedes to nothing inside ten seconds - there's not even a lingering floater ring. No lacing either.

Nody colour is an opaque solid dark black - not quite a jet black, but dark. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an unimpressive appearance for an imperial porter. The head in particular is quite the disappointment. I can't say it really draws me in.

Sm: Smells more like a baltic porter, so I'm going to accept beeradvocate's current designation and review it as such. Dark malts, milk chocolate, hazelnut, and a weak lagery yeast character. It doesn't have the bold uniform presence a true imperial porter would. There's plenty of sweetness here from the malts. I don't find any roasted barley. Hop character is minimal, though I do find some herbal character. Some might call this medicinal. There's also some vague unidentifiable dark fruit buried beneath an equally nebulous licorice note.

It definitely has the empty malt characteristics of a lager. It's a pleasant aroma of mild to moderate strength.

No yeast character or overt alcohol is detectable.

T: Ample sweetness from the dark malts, chocolate malt, and chocolate (adjunct?). Hints of licorice override the vague dark fruit notes. A kiss of herbal hop character. Cola-like, with some sassafras and even some almond. Really, there's not much going on here.

No yeast character comes through. I don't get any roast or coffee or anything.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Not real complex or subtle. Lacks intricacy and nuance. It's straightforward and simple, without any noticeable layering of flavour. Very surface. It has a fair balance and a decent build, but it's far from gestalt.

It's a very obvious and tired attempt at the style. No new elements emerge over the course of consumption. There're no surprising aspects to be discovered as you drink. It's very run-of-the-mill, almost like a paint-by-numbers attempt at a homebrew clone of a superior baltic porter. Very uninspired and boring.

Mf: Sticky. Much weaker than a true imperial porter ought to be. A biteen thin. Lacks body. Smooth and wet. I might even call it slick. Decent presence on the palate. The texture suits the taste generally well, but doesn't come off custom-tailored to it.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, stale, or rough.

Dr: Downable but forgettable. More middle-of-the-road work from Ska. I see no reason to buy this again and wouldn't recommend it to friends. I'm glad it's an easily available local brew. It hides its ABV well enough and I'll have little trouble killing the bottle, but there's nothing unique or special here. I doubt I'd want another. Might be better on-draught. It's just very unremarkable.

On a marketing note, the whole "imperial porter" epithet should go. Call it an imperial baltic porter if you must, but be a bit more transparent for the consumer. I applaud the fact that they're brewing an underrepresented style - but not that they're seemingly trying to hide it.

Low C+

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Photo of KFBR392
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Half a finger of off white head on the pour. Extremely low active carbonation. Poured dark brown but sits black in the glass.

Smell: Powdery cacao nibs on the front. Slightly ashy oak body. Milk chocolate with slightly roasted coffee grounds is picked up on the back end.

Taste: The front is a touch watery with some malt sweetness. Notes of caramel, soapy molasses, dirt, and roasted toffee grounds roll in after the front. There is a mossy funk on the body which I can't really find a reason for, some oxidation maybe? Aftertaste is a mixture of old coffee, plastic, and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Thin overall but lingering tones of coffee and dark chocolate. Carbonation is low which gives no good for flaws.

Overall: Hmm, the chocolate and coffee tones are a little synthetic and off putting. After such a solid wax job on the bottle I had high hopes, because we all know wax topping means it's going to be a good brew.

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Photo of DragonsDeath
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had to try this after having Ska Brewing's Decadent I.P.A
Serving Wax sealed 22oz dinner bottle fridge temperature poured into 16oz pilsner glass.

A.Poured very dark almost black coffee color, no head or lacing to follow.

S. Smoke, coffee, and a hint of chocolate.

T. Rich dark coffee, kind of smokey.

M. Medium bodied, not much carbonation, smooth going down.

O. This Porter is not bad to have finished off the day with.
Was easy going down, and doesn't leave to bitter of an after taste.

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Photo of biglite351
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - a lot of red around the edges. Tall creamy off-white head that leaves some lacing.

S - malts and hops. Something like caramel. A little you h of bitter but not in a bad way.

T - bitter up front. Mild malts with some hop. Some sweetness in the finish.

M - good coating with a tingle on the sides.of the tongue and top of mouth.

D - too bitter for more than one.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

thanks mark, this might have been the last of my gifts (except for the big one).

DARK- see thru corners with blood red highlights. cappuccino foam floats and an magical portal-like haze exists on the surface. dive in! nose of mocha chocolate grain silo is both appealing and average in porter terms.. nice butterscotch note keeps it interesting. clean with nothing astringent. light body with chalky baking cocoa bitterness, hop shock and alcohol burn in the finish. husk aftertaste with dirt mixed in.. earthiness isn't all bad but this could be alot smoother to compliment its thinner side body. decent but not the best of the ska line.. eh.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.12/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Saw this at Mr. G's for $6.50. Figured that for the price, it wouldn't be a bad pickup. I like things from Colorado and I thought Modus Hoperandi was ok so I picked this up. Probably won't do it again. Served in a Great Divide balloon glass... maybe a bit warmer than I should have.

The beer pours with a bit of a thin tan head. Meh on that, but at least the body is solidly dark. Somewhat redeeming, but the beer still looks lifeless to me.

The nose... damn... solventy. Hothothot. Having a hard time finding much else other than booze. I'd like some non-boozy depth, please.

The taste is better. Smoky. Some sweetness. Drying hoppiness. Kind of slick on the tongue. Still a bit thin and dry from what I'd look for, but not bad.

How did the nose become so offensive? Whatever it was, the nose prevented me from enjoying this beer. Don't think I'll pick this up again.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.21/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

For a beer that touts the name Imperial, this is quite a weak brew. It looks decent. Not quite opaque brownish black with a nice fluffy off-white head that settles out to a stadium pour in a matter of minutes.

The beer smells like cheap malt with a thin hint of chocolate and an even thinner hint of roast. There is a little bit of a hop profile in the back, but this beer almost smells like foul tap water.

The taste is not much better. Sweet and chocolatey up front, dry and roasty in the back. The finish has a bit of a smoked peat and earthy nuttiness to it, but it doesn't taste much heavier than your run of the mill porter, if at all.

The body is very thin and flat. This is fairly low of the drinkability scale in so many ways. Nice try Ska, but this is no imperial porter.

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Photo of nick76
3.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is good for the style with coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. The appearance is dark brown with a light tan head. The flavor is like the aroma but has a bit of vegetables. The palate is thin for the style and the finish is bitter. Overall not a great strong porter.

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Photo of BergBeer
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Look: Opaque black with a mocha colored head. Head has good retention but is quite thin. Nice legs on this keep the head up throughout drinking.

Smell: Roasted malt, sweet chocolate, dates, vanilla, slight coffee, prunes, bit of booze, an almost bourbon like note, and more chocolate and vanilla. Smells tasty.

Taste: At first there is a bitter coffee blast that disappears in too huge date/dark juicy grapes, vanilla, an almost smokey peat like note that goes away as quick as it appeared, into a huge roasted malt body with notes of semi sweet chocolate. The dark fruit notes linger on the tongue after everything else fades away.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and not as thick as it would appear. Sticky on the palate and the flora stick to your tongue. Booze is definitely there but it's not too much but it keeps it from being more then a sipper.

Overall: Good. Really enjoy the dark chocolate and dark fruit notes and how they meld together. It reminds me of Ten Fidy's younger brother the only problem I had was it's not as smooth and creamy and the body is a bit thin

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Blue wax capped 22oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 7.00. No bottling date. Served in a goblet.

Pours a near-black brown with almost three fingers of pale tan head. The froth settles to a thin haze and leaves small patches of lace.

Mild cocoa, slight roast and a vague fruity yeast on the nose.

Tastes of bitter cocoa, roasted grains, dark fruit skins, yeasty apple character, earth, chalk and slight booze. Not necessarily bad but seems a little weak and there is something that doesn't quite fit.

Semi creamy body that is almost smooth but the carbonation is a bit too lively to allow it to settle on the tongue. Bitter, roasty, yeasty finish.

Nefarious Ten Pin is decent enough but for my tastes falls short of greatness. I don't regret my purchase but won't be repeating it.

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Photo of Mayhem976
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours black but as I hold it to the light you can see traces of brown, it's got a small to medium sized light brown head. Hardly any presence of lacing.

S- Pretty good amount of oak is what hits me at first, not over the top but you can smell some oak in this porter. Smells like a barley wine.

T- Once again the flavor that hits me is oak, I also taste a tad bit of bitter coffee and bit of malt.

M- This is a medium body porter, well in comparison to other imperial porters that is.

D- It's an above average porter, nothing stands out, it's just a descent all around flavor. I like a porter or stout to somewhat kick me in the stomach as it hits my palate. I paid 6.99 for a bomber, for that price I would expect more, the same company makes a Merlot Stout at the same price that's amazing. I will not be picking up another one of these.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass

A - Pours a deep, dark brown color with a very respectable 2 inch light tan colored head. Head lasts well and creates beautiful lacing as it slowly retreats.

S - Dark, sweet fruits like fig, plum and raisin abound. Very roasted, slightly earthy with a decent amount of alcohol spice. Some molasses adds to the sweetness.

T - Starts sweet with the above dark fruit flavors: mainly fig with some raisin and plum. Strong alcoholic warmth comes on along with a strong roasted, peat-y flavor. Alcohol spice is chief in the finish.

M - Very dry and roasted with a medium body. Mild carbonation.

D - Overall, the alcohol seems a bit too strong in flavor where it should be better disguised. Maybe worth picking up if you're curious, but otherwise I'm sure there are better "imperial" porters out there.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.29/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

big thanks to the trader (wish i remembered who) that sent this one my way. cool arse label and i'm hoping this one is indeed a baltic porter as the style is noted here at BA.

poured cold and black from the bottle to a founders brewing goblet with no head whatsoever. hmmm..., a few big bubbles around the edges, but no head, wonder if this one has lost its carbonation, or if this is as intended ?

aroma of dark fruits and perhaps a bit of roasty chocolate malts in the way back.

a wee bit of coffee and interesting ripening dark fruits. i'm not a big fan of the dark fruit stouts, but this is an interesting near take on the style. going to let it warm up a bit and take another go at it.

very little carbonation, though not quite flat as a pancake, super sweet, smooth. a little carbonation and we'd be good to go on this one.

overall - interesting, sweeter than expected, the low carb is killing this one.

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Photo of codewarrior
3.29/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Capped and waxed 22oz bomber into an imperial pint glass

L: Pitch black with lots and lots and lots of head. Good retention, and globular lacing.

S: Sweet malt up front with a hefty dose of iron in the back. Given the fact that no other raters have mentioned a metallic flavor, I'm thinking this batch might be contaminated.

T: A goodly sweetness up front into a bitter middle. Finish is a bit funk and a lot of iron. After finish I get a hint of grapes.

F: Good amount of carbonation, and about the right thickness.

D: Good drinking, but not great tasting.

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Photo of SamN
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

FIrst review after many years gone. From a bomber, from the fridge, into a dimpled stein.

Appearance: Pours an inky, extremely dark brown. Firm, pillowy mocha-tan head, albeit a little thin. Sticks around pretty good. Less than a finger. But man, does it stick around. Remains solid and firm, sip after sip.

Smell: Beer might be a bit cold, still; not getting much aroma from the glass. Can find light woody-nes, nutty-ness, bittersweet choclate. As it warms some, more delicate flavors appear; light dark fruits, and maybe even a certain rum character? Mostly dark malts. Reminds me more of a brown ale than a baltic porter.

Taste: Taste is mosly true to style; robust malty taste and minimal hoppiness. Flavor profile has a lot of bittersweet baker's chocolate. I dunno, I find the tastes sort of muddled and indistinct. The beer leaves the palette and leaves cocoa and a herbal hop note, which I don't find too great.

Mouthfeel: The feel, however, is a shining point. Medium-full body, nice and thick on the palette with the right amount of subdued carbonation. Very nice.

Overall: Not much of an "imperial porter", more like a strong, dark brown ale. Muddled tastes, disagreeable herbal hops finish. Middle-of-the-road at best. Warming and big, no doubt. Good for preparing for the upcoming snow here, but nothing I would buy again, especially at $8 a bomber.

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Photo of scooter231
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this fellow up while visiting New Mexico- the blue waxed sealing had me at hello. As did Nefarious- I HAD to try it. This fellow pours a completely pitch brown dark opaque, with some lovely tannish head that disappears quickly, and leaves little lacing, but some poofy swirls on top. This guy means business.

Smell is sweet, alcohol-y sweet, with some definite prune and raisin notes, and a hint of malty breadyness. Some milk chocolate sneaks in near the end. Definitely a sweet smelling guy.

Bitter coffee flavors hit you first, followed by chocolate, malts, and another hit of bitter espresso type flavors. Definitely reminiscent of yoohoo, with some bitterness and, of course, alcohol thrown in. This could be cloyingly, annoyingly sweet, but the bitterness evens it out a little. Still, it's a bit unbalanced.

Mouthfeel is decent, but a little watery for my tastes. And the suds are a bit soapy feeling.

Overall, it's not shabby, but I definitely prefer other baltic porters to this one. Still... don't pass it up. Give it a try!

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Photo of jrallen34
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 22oz bomber into my Orval glass.

The beer is a very dark brown, hint of blackness to it. The head is a super light tan that disappointly only rises about a quarter ince and is gone quickly. The lacing is light.

The aroma is pretty light. It starts off malty with a little sweet chocolate and vanilla. The finish is a little bitter coffee.

The taste is also super light in taste. Almost totally dead to start with a coffee bitter finish.

The feel is super light, not to my liking for this type of beer.

Its easy to drink, but why would you?

Overall, too light and boring.

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Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter from Ska Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.