1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

422 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 422
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 40
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 422 | Reviews: 235 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wedge
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of blitz134
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JBStith
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Photo of meathookjones
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Herrless
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of fretlessman71
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jhammerly
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of aleyeast
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of RoBotGod
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of PatYoda
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Bighuge
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of weeare138
3.36/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.21/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of blackie
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of battlekow
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.49/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part of a great package from Mentor!

I am pouring a room temp bottle into a snifter.
The beer pours a rich dark brown with mahogany highlights at the edges of the glass. No lite passes through. A creamy and fizzy tan head foams up 1 cm and fades rather quickly to an edge layer with a few bubble islands in the middle. The head remains a edge layer throughout sampling.
Aroma, wow! It is robust with chocolate, brown sugar and molasses mixing with cherries and raisins, smells like a winner! I also get just a hint of herbal hops in the way background. But make no mistake, this is a malt lovers beer!
The first sip reveals very mild almost non-existent, soft spacious carbonation. The body is silky textured and fairly thick. A big beer came in this bottle!
Flavor starts off with some dark fruit, raisin or plums, and then rolls to a lingering chocolate sweetness like a Hershey kiss that is overtaken by some warming alcohol. THe alcohol leaves a bit of a tingle on the back of my throat and keeps me from downing this tasty beer faster. A very tasty robust beer that is a sipper. Glad to have a full 22 oz of this tasty brew!

Photo of mntlover
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black with some deep red showing thru a smaller tan head that leaves behind some spotty lace.

Aroma is nice chocolate with expresso and fruit in the background and a good hop presence.

Taste is chocolate and lightly bitter coffee some earhty peat like flavors with hints of smokiness. As it warms light liqourice flavors come out along with light fruitiness. Has a decent citrus hop bite and lingering bitterness for a porter.

Mouthfeel is lively which makes the mouthfeel seem a little lighter say around medium.

Drinkability is good not a bad porter not as full as I expected hell its worth a try maybe even a revisit. Taste was a toss up 3.5 or 4.0 couldn't make my mind up.

Photo of benito
2.23/5  rDev -41.6%
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.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up in Colorado. Poured from its 22 oz bottle a pretty dark black color. There were noticeable color streaks of dark browns and reds in the edges. A very limited head and lacing but it was nice to see throughout the tasting.

The smell is light for a Baltic Porter but some stronger aroma's of sweet chocolate and molasses are present. A nice floral bonquet is noticed as well. Reminds me more of a sweet chocolate bar then anything.

The taste is light for a Baltic Porter as well but has some interest sweeter flavors. The sweet chocolate theme remains more dominate of all flavors. Some lighter coffee tones and a more notice milk quality is there as well. The beer is very smooth but some light zings from the alcohol at the end. I would have liked to see more of a bigger base to tone down such a chocolate bar taste but still good and unique.

The body is light to medium and very smooth and easy to drink. I would have like to see more but still an enjoyable beer all the same.

Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter from Ska Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 422 ratings.