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Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter - Ska Brewing Co.

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

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very good

423 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 423
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 39
Gots: 40 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 423 | Reviews: 236
Photo of GClarkage
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/21/07- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info shown. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance- Deep brown, approaching black colored elixer. Large bubbled one inch plus head with nice streaks and small patches of lace.

Smell- Mild coffee ground scent with a heavy roasted chocolate malt base.

Taste- Lacking a bit of strength or oomph. Has the good amount of almost burnt chocolate malt and the coffee ground notes as well. Really doesn't tie together as would want. Trying to understand what is missing since it has 8% Hops are on the more mild side. Gets a weird medicinal taste towards the end of the bottle.

Mouthfeel- Mild cola like carbonation (to many bubbles here). More of a burnt chocolate aftertaste than anything.

Drinkability- Decent, maybe even above decent baltic, but plenty of other ones out there to float my boat.

Photo of plaid75
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep murky brown hue with a three finger chunky light brown head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong burnt grain with some mild dark fruit sweetness.

The taste was upfront burnt grains with traces of charcoal and dark chocolate. Again, some dark dried fruit flavors were detected.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a tasty and brawny porter.

Photo of malcontent
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque, dense mass of black liquid topped-off by a creamy tan head.

Coffee aromas blend with hints of vanilla and faint traces of almonds. Can't imagine this was made without the use of both roasted barley and chocolate malt.

A mild fruitiness leads into the bitter, roasted flavors suggested by the nose. Bitter aftertaste seems to owe more to hops than specialty grains which is interesting but not something I think of in a Baltic.

Actually, slightly thin although the finish is creamy, thereby rounding out the mouthfeel a bit. Overall a very enjoyable beer but not as rich and sweet as I am used to from the style. Still, I'd absolutely revisit this one.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650mL bottle poured into nonic pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a midnight black with a brown and tan head, sort of inactive but could be a result of a substandart pour, not quite so pretty but still looks good to drink. Very little lacing.

S: I can smell this one from a mile away, sweet and dark fermented fruits hammer the nose then is followed by the traditional chocolate notes, also has a nice and pronounced toasted gainy scent, all pretty well balanced against the overall sweetness.

T/MF: Sort of a subdued mouthfeel and taste which is both strange and a sort of nice suprise for an imperial beer which normally wallops you, but maybe thats the point. In any case this beer has quite a pronounced toasted malt charcter that is in a nice balance with a snappy hop character. Sort of a lazy mouthfeel that feels a bit too watery for a beer of this character, I almost forget I'm drinking such a big beer.

D: It is a servicable beer and goes down quite easily but it leaves me wanting more.

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.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First, I love the label and the wax top. Those are the reasons why I purchased this one. What's inside the bottle doesn't look too bad, either. Pours a jet black with a dark cola edge. There is a thin khaki head and just a touch of lacing.

The aroma isn't strong enough for me. It gets better as it warms, but needs more oomph. I get some faint coffee and chocolate roasted malts, but that's it.

The flavor is prominant, thank goodness. Coffee and chocolate are the main players. Almost bordering on stout territory, but the ending is lighter and not as heavy.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, imo. Slightly bitter aftertaste with a touch of dryness. This bomber is going down pretty good, and I am sure the next one I buy will too. I am hoping the mouthfeel will improve with a fresher bottle.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a black color with a thin tan head. The aroma is malty and mild. The taste is malty and has a coffee flavor – very well balanced. The mouthfeel is full and somewhat creamy. Overall, this is an easy drinking porter that I’ll keep an eye out for.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a very small off white head that disappears very quickly.

Aromas are dark roasted malts, coffee...and a beautiful chocolate.

Taste is surprisingly clean and light like a porter...but with more intense chocolate (bakers) and coffee flavors...almost stout, but still clean fresh and light like a porter. Chocolate with light coffee and a hint of hops as you swallow.

Very refreshing mouthfeel and aftertaste.
Very enjoyable brew. Nothing heavy yet still "imperial"...wonderful.

8% ? No freekin' way...at least I can't find it. Incredibly hidden if it is in there.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle in Asheville a while pack, mainly due to the awesome looking bottle. How can you pass up a waxed topped bottle with a skeleton in a robe and crown holding a bowling pin?? Come on, that just looks awesome. I have also had success from the others from SKA Brewing, so onto the beer....

A - Poured a very deep dark brwon, pretty much black, very opaque and thick looking. Huge creamy tan head lifted up to about two inches, then slowly settled back down to about a half inch layer that just sat on top. Lots of sticky lace down the sides of the glass pretty much obscured everything, overall very full thick look especially for a porter, looked more like a stout.

S - Wow, a porter smelled like this?? Very rich caramel and coffee tones dominated this from the beginning. Very sweet smelling, with a hint of chocolate on the back. Very full aroma, and a hint of alcohol. This thing meant buisness for sure.

T - Wow, this was one big porter. Initial taste was loaded with caramel and chocolate tones. A touch of alcohol warmed it up as well. Lots of roasted coffee tones in the back, and a nice bitter, dry hoppy finish. This was a really well rounded and full taste. Very nice indeed.

M - Very full, pretty much stout like in feel. Rich creamy with very good carbonation. Very easy going down as the alcohol was only moderatly affected. Easily the thickest ported I have ever drank.

D - This is definatly a sipper. Not something I am going to be throwing down lots of in a night, thats for sure. Though as a sippable porter it is very very nice. The rich creamy feel really made this a nice dessert beer.

Overall this really impressed me and kicked my ass to be honest. I was not expecting this to be that heavy. It really has the smell, look, and feel of a stout. An Imperial porter it is I guess, but damn it is full bodied. This is a very nice brew and definatly worth a try, it was very affordable at around $6 dollars, so you really cannot go wrong. Ska keeps putting out these quality brews over and over, well done again!

Photo of SaltyLime
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - very dark, amber edges when held up to a light, tiny brown head...I dig the wax covered bottle top

Smell - sweet chocolate, light roasted malt and hint of fresh hops

Tatse - very chocolaty with a slight bitterness, a little harsh with the spiciness for my taste

Mouthfeel - thick full body, low carbonation, rich

Drinkability - acceptable, not close to being a favorite

a little disappointing, I was expecting to do a standing ovation for this one.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to NucularGeorge for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a clear/clean dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little tannish fizzy head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet, malty, lots of toffee/caramel. The taste pretty much follows the nose, malty and lots of toffee/caramel. The alcohol is hidden very well for a 8% brew. Medium body. Drinkable, this is my first Ska brew, but I do have a bottle of Decadent to be had shortly. This brew, I would recommend if you can find it.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to admit there is some serious label lure going on with this one.

Pours opaque brown with little head that fades to a surface layer. Visible carbonation. Some laving observed.

The smell is a subtle sweet malt with a slightly musty tootsie roll.

The mouth feel is singular, without much tingle from the carbonation or hops. Gives it an uncomplicated character with a lighter perception of body.

The flavor is mild. Lightly roasted malt and a hint of chocolate near the end. Finishes clean.

The 8% is hidden from my palate, but i can feel it on the way down.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Leaves less than a one finger tan colored head that quickly recedes into a barely-there foam ring at the edge, and no lacing to speak of. Body is black.

Smell - dark crusted malt bread, and some spicy alcohol. Seeming simple, but good.

Taste - exactly like the smell. Roasted malt. Some spicy alcohol, especially on the finish.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, smooth.

Drinkability - this is good ale, but not great. High abv also holds down sessionability.

Photo of atsprings
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pured into a mug, the beer left a thin darkish head that dimimished into a razor thin head that lasted several minutes before breaking down into a ring. Aroma was rather weak for a beer this strong. Hints of dark chocolate and dried fruit. The taste has rather good with dark mocha characteristics minus the roasted barley flavor of a stout. Mouthfeel does a good job concealing the 8% abv. This is a very drinkable beer, but I'll likely usually pass it up for a similarly priced Imperial Stout.

Photo of brentk56
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Those who are sseeing this beer as black either have a different brew or need to get their eyes examined as my sample has a tawny port color that can be seen right through when held up to the light; the head has large bubbles and looks more like a soda head than a beer head although it does persist at 1/4" and leave spotty lacing

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate aroma with a touch of charcoal

Taste: Starts out with a sharp chocolate flavor that tastes a bit of burnt toast; after the swallow, a roasted bitterness takes over and overwhelms the more subtle sweet flavors

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light bodied for the abv; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just too many flaws here to be a top flight candidate for the style; definitely doesn't fit the Baltic Porter category and a bit underwhelming as an Imperial Porter

Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This years edition pours mahogany with nice beading hugging the glass & fluffed up 1" mocha colored head. Okay lacing & good head retention

S: Rich chocolate & iron

T: Chocolate, dryness & iron up front. Toasted grainyness & more chocolate follows. Slight nuttyness comes through as this warms. Finishes with iron, chocolate mousse & dryness& slight bit of alcohol

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, richnesss sneaks in as as it warms, almost a like a chocolate malt

Drinks very easy for the ABV. This doesn't really say baltic porter, but pretty tasty. A good purchase at $4 for 22 ozs

Photo of soulgrowl
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as a hole in the ground. Stocky, smooth, light tan head with poor retention.

Smell: Honey, molasses, chocolate malt(s), with nice roasty notes that combine with a taffy sweetness to give the impression of charred homemade marshmallows. Just a hint of alcohol melds with caramel notes into an edge of light rum.

Taste: Bittersweet with lots of cocoa, chocolate, and spicy, lightly piney hops. Toffee is also detectable.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and dry, with a cleanness despite its heft. Very smooth and nice.

Drinkable: Sippable, very flavorful but balanced and not overwhelming.

Photo of joe1510
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber
Binny's Orland

Nefarious Ten Pin poured a completely opaque black. Not one hint of light shows through the body of this beer. In fact the blackness actually sucks in the light and just gobbles it up. A brown frothy head faded to a fat capping before I drank. Leaves sheeted lacing with each drink. Very nice.

The smell for some reason is slightly vegetal and sweet. There are some roasty malts and chocolates in the background. Along with a sprinkling of brown sugar in there as well. The vegetal nature of the smell is a turn off but when you get deeper and smell the chocolate and other malts it's nice. There is a brown sugar aroma in there as well. As it warms the smells mingle better.

Starts off with deeply toasted malts and dark chocolate. The malts and chocolate go nicely together and the chocolate adds a touch of bitterness. On the finish there is a slight touch of aspirin bitterness along with a warming from the alcohol. These two things add nice depth.

This beer is medium bodied and slightly chewy. Coats the entire mouth and goes down rather smoothly. Mild carbonation lets everything work through on its own. Good mouthfeel.

This is a sipper and a fairly easy one to put away. The alcohol just lends a nice warming of the throat. Tastes good and goes down smooth. I could drink these for awhile, especially on a cold day like today.

Overall this is a pretty impressive beer. Some aspects are better than others but it is an enjoyable expierence. Definate cold weather beer that will help keep you warm.

Notes: Let this warm. The warmer it gets the better it smells and tastes. I'd recommend 50+


Photo of laintringulis
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pubglass. Pours a dark brown/ruby color with a large beige frothy head that thins to a ring during drinking. Practically no lacing.

Smells: Grassy grapes, light roasted coffee, powdery chocolate, vague sweet malt and spicy alcohol.

Taste: Very nice indeed. Initial brief, sweet grassy grape flavor with a buttery malt. Reminds me of a darker muscatel wine. Not overly fruity, blends well. Then a nice lightly roasted coffee and faint chocolate flavor take over with a spicy, earthy dry alcohol finish.

It is almost a medium bodied brew. I would have preferred a heavier body. The body did not match with all of the complexities of the beer. The alcohol is a little strong at the end, but it is pleasant and works well with the strength of flavors in the beer.

Easy to drink, tasty. I did session quite a few of these. Good stuff, but the alcohol will come back and kick your pants off.

Note: The draft was much better than the bottles I bought home. The bottle did not do this beer justice. I'm not sure why, but that is what I found.

Photo of Backer2004
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another thanks to Bruskiator for sharing this beer with us at the Carolnia Brewmasts Christmas party Saturday.One of the last beers I treid that night so i may need to go back and re-review it sometime. 22 oz bottle pours a reddish black color with nice lacing and a fair amount of head. Smells of chocolate and coffee, with the addition of nuts and vanilla flavor. Great style, next time I'd like to try a whole bottle for myself.

Photo of nlmartin
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer was served in a imperial pint glass.

Appearance: The beer has a black colored body with ruby opaqueness to light. The head was about two fingers and resolved to a thin light tan ring of foam.

Smell: The beer has a chocolate and lightly roasted coffee smell. Dark fruity plums and figs combine with a citrus and pine hops. The alcohol provides a nice spicy counternote.

Taste: The beer delivers a very fine lightly roasted coffee and chocolatey combo. This recieves an assist from dark fruity plums and figs. A splash of citrus and pine resin piggy back onto spicy alcohol.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is just shy of medim bodied and lightly carbonated. I would prefer this beers body to be a bit bigger. This was a dam fine beer and I could session this one inspite of the 8% ABV. It is a dam shame this beer isnt available in Cincinnati.

Photo of Vancer
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark chocolate brew, in the color, aroma, and taste.
It’s got that semi-sour funk, and the powdery texture hits the spot too.

Seems to be one of SKA’s better brews, I could quaff these for a session – the 8% is well hidden behind that smooth chocolaty taste. In fact, this would really hit the spot with another couple percents of alcohol backbone

Photo of EvilKeith
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of daliandragon
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter from Ska Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 423 ratings.