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Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter - Ska Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

401 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 401
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 39
Gots: 35 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 03-05-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 401 | Reviews: 232 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EvilKeith


3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

Nefarious Ten Pin arrived in a tulip glass. The body was deep rich chocolate brown color, the head was camel in color and consisted of creamy thick foam. The lacing was a thing of beauty with a heavy coating of sticky thick foam lining the glass.
The smell was ripe dark fruits, a faint note of coffee, yeast mustiness, an undefined tropical citrus fruitiness and a peppery spiciness from the alcohol.
The taste had a lightly roasted character, with hints of cocoa and coffee. An unexpected trace of citrus fruit tartness and sweetness was also noted. There was also pleasant moderate hop bitterness and a chalky dry finish.
The carbonation was moderately active in a medium-heavy body. The mouthfeel is somewhat creamy.
This was something I would call well balanced and very drinkable.

10-24-2006 12:56:27 | More by EvilKeith
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%

Enjoyed the standard Ten Pin from Ska the other night and have since been looking forward to downing this wax covered bomber with a skeleton king (wearing Santa's coat and wielding a bowling pin scepter) on the label. Recommended by the nice man at Homebrew Haus in New Bern.

Dark brown color with a decent tan head that doesn't last and roasty, malty nose with strong coffee tones and a sweet backround. That 8% is not in the smell, which is impressive. Lacing has close to 100% coverage,, but isn't thick or sticky.

Initial taste isn't very strong but the aftertaste comes on like gangbusters. Mouthfeel is smooth enough but could also stand some thickening. Coffee and roasted malt are up front with some medium hoppiness and a slight metallic twinge at the end. The alcohol is hiding in the shadows, but present.
Can't say that I love this one but it's an honest effort at a Baltic and certainly has its merits.

10-22-2006 05:56:45 | More by daliandragon
Photo of SaCkErZ9


3.55/5  rDev -7.3%

Poured from a 22oz blue wax topped bottle into an imperial pint glass. A rather dense, two finger sized head forms on top of the nearly opaque beer. Generous lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroma is chocolate malts with some earthy hops. Burnt coffee and toffee follow. The slightest wet diaper scent is present but is not extremely noticeable.

Flavor profile is predominantly dark chocolate with some hop bitterness. A little watered down in the flavor. A slight mettalic taste evolves with some astrigency as well. As the beer warms, the slightest bit of alcoholic flavor emerges but overall, it is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is average but seems a bit weak for an 8%. Alcohol is very well hidden as I taste little. Nice drinkability if you like sort of bitter chocolate and burnt coffee. Not exactly my favorite but I would try it again in the future.

09-16-2006 18:34:14 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%

Looks very nice. Deep heavy brown topped by a frothy cream head. In the light a red glow appears around the edges. Scattered bits of creamy lace cling to the glass. Smells thick with maple syrup, cocoa, cherries, sugary and creamy caramel, with coffee and milk. Taste is smooth and extensive. All of the above scents form together nicely as flavors. Nice slight roastiness all over. The fruitiness balances the sweetness and there is a nice milky thing going on. Smooth and velvety in the mouth and good body. Really drinkable. It floats its way down soft and smoothly.

A good choice. Let it warm for a few and it'll be just right.

09-11-2006 00:17:05 | More by tastybeer
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +12.3%

Pours pretty damn black with deep reddish edges and a prominent tan head that leaves rings of laces on the glass as it drops. Smells of creamy rich malts with some underlying fruit. Taste is delicious showcasing a pretty complex maltiness...bittersweet chocolate, coffee beans, roasted black malts, and finishing with smooth estery alcohol. Smooth creamy mouthfeel that ends with some acidity.

This is a real nice "big" porter...all kinds of tasty, rich, complex dark malts. I should pick up another for $4.

09-11-2006 00:13:12 | More by wedge
Photo of blitz134


4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

Nearly pitch black, has some tiny color showing through the edge but its close enough. Tan colored head, half inch on the pour but reduced to a scumy layer on the top.

Smell is dark and roasty. Not quite charred malts but very roasted, lots of black coffee as well. A bit of smokiness shows through as well. Overall quite robust, pretty nice.

Taste is again dark and roasty, coffee again with some dark chocolate. A bit of bitterness finishes it out. Has a touch of lactic acid type flavor to it as well.

Really good mouthfeel in my opinion. Nearly full bodied, creamy and slick on the tongue. Sticks everywhere and the flavor really lingers and never quits. Good drinkability with its dark robust flavor and creamy mouthfeel. Good stuff, glad I picked it up while out in Colorado.

09-06-2006 02:00:51 | More by blitz134
Photo of JBStith

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

Ska Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter served in a 22 oz bottle...

A: Pours black with a brown head. Head disappates quickly with no lacing.

S: Smells of fusel alcohol. I get a bit of black malt and coffee, but the alcohol is very prominant (it shouldn't be that prominant at 8%).

T: Similar to smell. Nice acrid flavor from black malt and bittering hops. Very slight sweetness and coffee in the middle, and finishes with warming alcohol. Again, alcohol seems to permiate all flavors.

M&D: Medium body, but a thin mouthfeel. Probably wouldn't try to take down more than a bomber in one sitting.

Overall, a decsent example of baltic porter. Not sure if I will try this again.

08-26-2006 23:31:34 | More by JBStith
Photo of meathookjones


4/5  rDev +4.4%

Pours out black with a tall dark tan head and leaves some light webbing of lace around the glass. Aroma is full of bitter sweet chocolate and roasted malts. The flavor starts sweet with some caramel before the lightly bitter dark chocolate. Plenty of roasty malts in here with a light underlying smokiness. Pretty nice overall flavor that was a bit milder than I would have liked. Smooth feel with just enough girth to the body. Easy enough drinking that I would have another after the first. Solid example of a big porter.

08-02-2006 17:29:58 | More by meathookjones
Photo of Herrless


4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

This was a 22oz bottle with a wax top. Dark pour with 1" head that quickly dissipated and left nice lacing. I used an imperial pint glass and was impressed with it's dark coffee like appearance.

Slightly sweet, malty aroma. Chocolate, roasted malt and a smoky taste, slightly bitter. Not a very complex beer, WYSIWYG. Very smooth and silky to drink and finishes bitter.

The beer gets smoother and has a rounder body as it warms up. Don't drink it too cold.

This is a beer that I would recommend to any Porter lover. I am still undecided if I will be purchasing more in the future but this beer is one that might grow on you.

07-14-2006 03:51:10 | More by Herrless
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.35/5  rDev +13.6%

Impenetrable mahogany with generous edges of red and gold. The head is a fetching shade of golden sandstone, is heavily creamy and has an impressively pitted superior surface that gives way to pocked sheets of thick lace as it descends. Nefarious certainly looks nefarious and plays the part of a badass Baltic porter very well.

After the sniff test, I'm not sure that this beer is correctly categorized. It doesn't smell much like the stated style, more like an American Double Stout. The nose is full of well-roasted barley malt--black and chocolate at least--and is primarily bittersweet chocolatey as a result. I can also appreciate black coffee and a wee whiff of licorice.

Upon drinking... it's more like a big porter (maybe even a Baltic one) and less like a stout. There isn't quite as much malt as it looks like and smells like, but for the porter style, it's prodigious. I guess that's why it's Imperial. Even though there's still quite a bit of roastiness, other flavor elements make more of a contribution.

Coffee is now at least as prominent as chocolate, maybe more so. I'm now getting more of a tangy dark fruitiness, a little molasses and perhaps a bit more black licorice/anise. The flavor profile blossoms as the beer warms and I'm enjoying it more now that I'm at the midway point of the bomber.

Given the Skeleton King on the label, one might think that Nefarious is a rough and ragged beer, but nothing could be further from the truth. The 8% ABV is masked exceptionally well and there's nothing but smooth sailing for as far as the eye can see. It's doubtful that Kind Hearted Ten Pin Imperial Porter (with a fluffy kitten on the label?) would sell as well.

I wish that all porters had bodies like this one; never mind the fact that it's 'Imperial'. It's somewhere between medium and full--probably closer to the former--and is gaining in creaminess as it sits. I still can't break out the big score though, especially given the style. Drinkability is sky high and rising as the ounces disappear.

Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter is much better than Ten Pin Porter! (why no exclamation point with this beer, I wonder?). I'm not sure how much of a classic Baltic Porter it is, but it's a delicious, drinkable version that 'snow plows' its way to a strike! with each mouthful. Recommended if you can find it.

07-08-2006 22:42:57 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of ppoitras


4.1/5  rDev +7%

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... Cap sealed with blue wax.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head fades pretty quick down to an uneven layer of bubbles, with plenty of lacing. Aroma is smoky yet sweet dark malts. Taste is sweet chocolate, a twinge of smoke, and not much in the way of EtOH. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both pretty good. Could be a bit smoother, which would make it go down easier, ubt a nice brew overall.

06-23-2006 23:29:27 | More by ppoitras
Photo of mynie


4.2/5  rDev +9.7%

Aww, garsh. I just can't resist a wax-covered bottle head and I also love skeletons and so even though I wasn't really bowled over (a hur hur) by the regular Ten Pin Porter and other beers I had from Ska, I decided to fork over a decent chunk of change for a bomber of this here brew.

Pours a very dark ruby with a small white head. Rather pedestrian pour, but it's saved by good lacing.

Smells of deep coffee and light roasted malts. Not very strong at all, not very complex at all. Nice, but weak.

Tastes great. Very complex roasted malt starts off with coffee and hazelnut, like a fine café latte, getting chocolately sweet near the middle and ending with a light, bittersweet hop. Good, but not as intense I as I had expected.

I would have merely thought this a good, borderline very good, regular porter were the word "imperial" not so present on the bottle. As is, it's a good beer, but it loses points for not being potent enough to rank as a good example of either an imeperial or Batlic porter. Still, well worth a try.

05-31-2006 04:00:05 | More by mynie
Photo of fretlessman71


3.48/5  rDev -9.1%

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Always loved the spirit of this brewery. All of the beers I’ve tried of theirs are interesting at worst and delicious at best. Had no idea the ska movement was so strong in the Four Corners area, but not having been there in almost 7 years, how would I know? Anyway, I’ve heard great things about this imperial version of one of my favorite porters, so here goes.

APPEARANCE: Translucent dark reddish brown. Somewhat rocky tan head, inch and a half or so. Bold, uneven lacing.

AROMA: Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, coffee. Not the strongest nose here.

FLAVOR: This one is all about the chocolate malt. Nice roasted flavor, on the sweet side (which I really like, but I know doesn’t score as high sometimes), almost like bittersweet chocolate milk. Caramel notes. Very subtle hop flavor. Sticky sweet finish. Alcohol becomes ever so slightly more present as the beer warms.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium weight, good carbonation.

DRINKABILITY: This is a dessert beer – much as I like it, one is more than enough.

OVERALL COMMENTS: For the one main flavor this has, it’s very good; wishing there was a lot more balance and other flavors to pick out. Again, it’s almost chocolate milk. Tastes good for what it is; just wishing it was more.

05-25-2006 03:35:13 | More by fretlessman71
Photo of scruffwhor


3.35/5  rDev -12.5%

Appearance- Pours a "brown shoes don't make it" dark brown mixed with a light atn head of mild retention. Was disappointed when no foam was left on the inside of the glass.

Smell- Light hopping for an imperial porter or baltic porter. Also a little bland in the roasted, lightly smoked malt department.

Taste- A good mix between the hop and malt flavors in this beer. The bitterness mixed with the savory, yet mild sweetness of the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Left a wet feeling on the palate with the blance of flavors. Had good staying power to savor and analyze and enjoy the flavors.

05-25-2006 01:56:44 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of jhammerly


3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Nice looking bottle that stood out on the shelf. You know with a wax dipped cap and neck, this has to be something special. Liquid night poured into a goblet with some hints of light barely showing at the edges. Nice 1 1/2" tan head that quickly evaporated into a thin lace.

The scent of roasted chocolate was very light on the nose. Pretty thin mouthfeel with not much bitterness. If I didn't read the 8% ABV on the label, I never would have guessed that this was very high. A bit sweet for my taste as well.

A nice offering from SKA, but something that I would prefer in smaller servings. A bomber is too much for me as far as the sweetness goes. I like my porters to have more bite to them. Still, this is good.

03-31-2006 02:41:05 | More by jhammerly
Photo of aleyeast

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

22 oz crown with wax, poured into a stone inmperial stout glass
color is dark brown with reddish hues and a small brown head
aroma is chocolate, alcohol on warming
thinner in taste, still chocolate is dominant with some anise, thinner than what I expected at 8%

Overall a definite try.

03-29-2006 18:36:44 | More by aleyeast
Photo of warriorsoul


3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

Received this from absolutesites and has been in my cellar for just about a year.
Black in color with very little light passing thru the very edges....a half a finger of off white head and very little lacing with a hand washed snifter.
Cocoa, bready nose, and some roasted malt.
The taste is enjoyable enough...plenty of chocolate, very little coffee, some sweet malt in the finish and a small amount of bitterness as well.
Mouthfeel is slightly above average and the carbonation is right for the style.
Goes down very easy...alcohol is totally hidden so this one could sneak up on you at 8%.
Very much in line with what I'd expect from this one...definitely delivers a comparable taste to others like Southampton and Gonzo.
Ska is on my list of places to visit...call it my 5 year plan.

03-18-2006 23:35:05 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%

Secret Santa 2005 # 9

Black body with Coke-like highlights along the bottomof the glass. Light chocolate milk shake foam peaked above the rim before settling into a thin table top. Nice stretched lacing.

Impressive, assertive nose of licorice, coffee, and chocolate grabs hold as soon as the cap is popped.

Taste starts with roasty notes of coffee and chocolate. A rising tide of earthy hops. Small dram of alcohol on the tongue in the finish. A touch of belly fire with the aftertaste. Nice compostion all told.

Good mouthfeel. Good drinkability.

A fine example of a wonderful style. Good nightcapper.

03-07-2006 05:22:28 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of RoBotGod


4.28/5  rDev +11.7%

I think this might be the best in this style in my state. Super dark and rich. The nose tells all about the coffee and dark chocolate. I also get small hints of toffee as well. The taste is great. Smooth and not over powered by alcohol. The coffee wrap up stays on the end of your tongue after the dark porter finish. I’m not a big fan of the six packs from Ska but there bombers are a must try. If your any kind of fan of the style, give this a try.

02-24-2006 17:31:39 | More by RoBotGod
Photo of PatYoda


3.6/5  rDev -6%

Pours a clear dark brown color with absolutely no head whatsoever. The smell is very nice and complex. Coffee, roasted grain, and a brown sugary sweetness make themselves known. I smell no alcohol. The taste is a bit of a letdown. The roasted flavors don't really come through much and the coffee is very muted along with some cocoa. That leaves a too sweet brown sugar/molasses taste that dominates. There is some pleasant hop bitterness which interacts with roasted malt bitterness in the finish though. This is not robust enough for my tastes. I also feel that the mouthfeel was quite thin. Drinkability was good. There's certainly nothing offensive about it.

02-10-2006 01:25:34 | More by PatYoda
Photo of Bighuge


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

The beer is almost black. Very close. Dark streaks of ruby are apparant to my eyes. A thin brown head is generated with the pour and this head dissipates rather quickly to a bubbly collar. Lace is sparse. Aroma is milky sweet. There's a definite lactose like characteristic. But there's also some char and chocolate on the nose too. Almost smells like an Imperial Milk Stout. (Ha Ha). Quite the interesting combo of flavors. It's got the dry, chalky flavors of cocoa powder. But also a sweet lactose like presence. It almost tastes more reminiscent of a classic Baltic Porter than of the Americanized styles of Imperial Porter. In any case, it tastes good. There's just a slight bitter, dry hop flavor. But the chocolatey and sweet lactic tones dominate. The body could use a little more heft to it. But the carbonation seems to be on the mark. Good brew.

Thanks MJR.

02-05-2006 03:20:21 | More by Bighuge
Photo of weeare138


3.38/5  rDev -11.7%

thanks to hopdog for unleashing this much anticipated bottle...
Appears a dark brown with a 3 finger tan head. Lots of chunky lacing is left all around the glass.
The smell is of heavy dosages of lactic chocolate, fruit, and a touch of coffee.
Taste is of smooth lacto sugared chocolate, light caramel, and some fruit and coffee.
Mouthfeel is overcarbonated, sweet and lactic.

01-26-2006 23:55:50 | More by weeare138
Photo of neonbrown82


3.23/5  rDev -15.7%

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.

01-15-2006 06:32:52 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of blackie


4.25/5  rDev +11%

appearance: A little rust under the cap, probably no big deal. The pour into my snifter creates a very low, tan head that quickly disappears. The beer is a very dark brown...sort of mahogany, but darker.

smell: The predominant aromas seem to be moderate hops and a mixture of dark and milk chocolates. Some hints of caramel, shortbread cookies, and dates are present. Theres also an aroma of sweet French vanilla cappuccino.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the high end of the low range. Combined with a heavier medium body, a slick and smooth mouthfeel is created.

taste: Similar to the aroma, but with more roasted malt character evident. The chocolatey sweetness is great, and is not cloying at all. There's a slight coffee flavor and accompanying astringency. A light hop bitterness gives just the right balance. Not as complex as the aroma, but still darn good.

drinkability: Very drinkable, not a hint of the ABV anywhere and tasty enough to keep me sipping.

22 oz. bottle from Whole Foods, sat in the cellar a couple months before drinking

01-15-2006 04:46:04 | More by blackie
Photo of battlekow


3.63/5  rDev -5.2%

Picked up a bottle of this at Sam's while I was down in Chicago selling my soul at Ikea. It looks pretty good, a dark brown, but I would have liked the rather white head to be a bit darker. It's not real big on flavor or smell, disappointingly thin and watery. There's a bit of fruitiness, especially in the nose, but overall it's not particularly "Baltic." There's some roastedness and chocolate, undercut by grapes, in the nose, but the best part of the beer is the strong cocoa finish on the flavor. Nefarious Ten Pin is easily quaffed, but not especially memorable; I could easily drink several, but I only like it enough to have one.

This beer brings to mind something that's been bugging me, namely the "Baltic Porter" category. Clearly this is just a weak Baltic porter, but other stuff, like Flying Dog's Gonzo or Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus, really belong in a different category due to their dearth of fruitiness and heavy-handed use of hops.

01-10-2006 23:29:11 | More by battlekow
Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter from Ska Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 401 ratings.