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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

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 235
Hads: 440
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 14.88%
Wants: 41
Gots: 46 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 235 | Hads: 440
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 UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Colorado Liquor Mart in Denver, CO.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 2 inch khaki head that fades to an oily cap. Thin rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark fruits, dark roasted malt, and slight coffee. Taste is of dark fruits, dark roasted malt, coffee, and cocoa powder. This beer has low carbonation with a slightly flat and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good baltic porter that is a bit of a letdown in the mouthfeel. I am glad I picked one of these up though.

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Photo of deanhead
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliantly brown, almost garnet in color. Very clear beer.
Citrusy hops, adequately carbonated
Smooth and chocolaty but not too rich. Well balanced and light bodied with citrus, grapefruit & a slight tangy lemon essence.
The chocolate flavor is perfectly balanced with the Malty and whiskey like notes.
Very hoppy, saturated with bitterness
This beer is highly drinkable at 8.00% Recommended!

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown/near black body, trace oatmeal head, fine lacing

S: sweet licorice, light smoky, malt

T: slight toffee, malty, boozy taste, slight alcohol warmth, sweet smoky spicy finish

M: med body, slight chewy smoothness

O: I wanted to love this (big fan of porters + stouts),
but the sweet spicy smoky flavor kept messing with my head.
If you love Baltic Porters and want something
different, this will be fun. Newbies to Baltic Porters
may want to start somewhere else. BIG SIPPER, could
barely finish one.


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Photo of Another6Pack
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Props to chugalug06 for sending this my way as an extra - thanks Geoff!

Pours almost black with a dark brown head that resembles a stout. Head recedes quickly but leaves plenty of broad curtains around the glass. Nose carries some chocolate and boozy notes.

First taste pulled out some definite chocolatey sweetness at the front end with a spicy carbonated finish and just the right amount of smoky aftertaste. No booziness. By the time I got halfway through the bomber I decided the lingering flavor is almost cigar-like; think Drew Estates Acid line with the funky sweet wrapper. Good stuff.

Haven't had enough Baltic Porters to be a very good judge of the quality of this one to the style, but I enjoyed the hell out of it.

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

Picked up a bomber of this one on a whim recently, as I hadn't had it in years and hadn't reviewed it. Poured a very dark brown (almost black) color with a nice light brown head. Aromas of dark chocolate, freshly roasted coffee and dark malts. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, with flavors of roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate.

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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 bamadog
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked this one up a couple of months ago while on a trip to Boone, NC. Review is from notes taken on 5/16/2011 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Well, the pour looks a little thin on the pour, but we'll see when we get there; the color is a deep and dark coffee brown/near black and it starts with a one finger dark tan head that fades almost immediately to a thin and incomplete skim with a thicker ring around the surface; body is dark and entirely opaque; a few patches and swaths of lacing are left behind.

Smell: A decent smell, some nice chocolate covered cherries with a solid roastiness; not especially robust, and I really like it when a big dark beer has scents that just ooze out of the glass, and this one just doesn't quite have the strength.

Taste: Really matches the taste to a "T;" a chocolate covered cherry flavor and a nice solid roastiness to it; again, not overly robust, but still solid.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little thin, and the carbonation is quite fizzy, like a Coke; a thin and dry, sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Overall: Not really what I expected from this one as I was really thinking it was going to be a bit more of a formidable beer; still decent overall and worth picking up, but I can't say this is something that needs to be in a 22 oz. bottle with the thick wax job.

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Photo of vtfan77
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I'll go ahead and admit that I've kind of abused this beer. It's been sitting around for almost a year after I brought it back from North Carolina, and has been subject to all manner of moves and temperature changes. That being said, the top is covered in wax; isn't that supposed to protect it extra well?

A- Very dark reddish brown with a decent head resulting from a rather aggressive pour. Looks about like I'd expect.

S- Extremely malty with a milk chocolate character that gives the overall impression of malted milk balls. There's a little bit of an earthy/minerally character as well.

T- Hugely malty and rather sweet with big molasses and licorice notes with some powdered cocoa. There is a good dose of hops, though, to keep the malt in check. Finishes mostly dry with a touch of residual sweetness and a pleasant bitterness. Overall it's very nicely balanced.

M- On the full side of medium-bodied with a good dose of carbonation. Could be a little thicker.

Well, it appears my abuse did little to affect this beer, as it is excellent. The malt character is superb and it never gets cloying thanks to a nice balance from the hops. The alcohol is nowhere in sight. I could drink a lot of this before realizing how strong it is. Overall, a great example of the style. Recommended.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pour is dark brown with hints of red. The large beige head is compact and dissipates into nice lacings.

S: Roasted malt with some sweetness. Dark dried fruits. Smoked ham. Faint dark bitter chocolate and even fainter; vanilla.

T: Vanilla/oak and chocolate. Sweet malt, roasted. Dark dried fruits. Some bitterness. Citirc notes. Black coffee.

M: Long bitter roasted aftertaste. Body is full and carbonation is mild, oh so mild.

O: A nice Baltic porter with a oaky/vanilla touch.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pretty darned black, close to very black. Lots of tan head leaves fast to ring. Some cling lace.

S - Chocolate chip cookie dough. Light malt.

T - Simple. Sugary malt, tarted out in the end.

M - Light to medium, good carb, fair finish

D - Nice brew.

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

Poured out a rich, luscious brown with thick viscosity especially for a porter. Sweet, boozy, slick aroma.

Taste, chewy, bitter, boozy. Lots of caramel and almost a syrupy presence to it, seems to have a varied set of hops along with it. Creamy at times. Chocolate malt, plum feel to it. Good roast. Small amount of coffee to it. Tiny wood flavor.

A little pricey at nearly $10, didn't feel like a big ripoff, but at the price, isn't making me clamor for another bottle.

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

pours a very dark brown that lets essentially no light through with little head.

smell is very light. slight sweet malt with essentially no hops.

taste is lighter than expected. starts out with sweet malts and finishes with nutty coffee bitterness.

mouth is medium-thick bodied with low carbonation.

This beer was fairly drinkable but lacked a few things. I enjoyed the coffee bitterness but it would have been better with some hops.

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Photo of EricCioe
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours almost black with a beach sand two finger head that dies down leaving no lace. On the nose there are big hits of molasses, caramel, and cereal. It's exceptionally sweet, almost closer to an English barleywine but a few shades darker. The sweetness comprises more in the molasses than anything else, and I didn't get much cocoa or bittersweet chocolate as other reviewers did. In the mouth the molasses didn't hold as much as I thought it might, probably a good thing, and there is some roasted grain on the way to slightly balance the molasses that is always present. The mouthfeel is a bit less sticky than I anticipated. Actually I was shocked at how medium this is in body based on what came out in the nose. The finish is long with some roast bitterness balancing the lingering molasses and caramel. Overall I like this beer a good deal, though I was surprised at how tame the sweetness was in the mouth considering how pleasantly overpowering it was in the nose.

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Photo of brewdenver
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber; poured into a guinness glass.

It snowed last night and I had to ride my bike home from work cold, wet and unprepared for the weather change. I should know better having been a long time rider and living in CO for this long. Needless to say on the way home; thinking of what beer to drink and write up a review about. Well...a Stout of course :). What better stout than an Imperial to help warm the senses and get comfortable on the couch.

A: Dark and dark. Poured a brown head that died quickly leaving a low head just covering the top of the beer. Medium fingers around glass and medium to strong lacing.

S: Hints of espresso, dry roast and mahogany come to mind. Some nice earthy tones as well.

T: Full bodied, coffee, malt with a hint of alcohol. Finishes dry but not irish stout dry. Nice hop and malt profile for an Imperial.

M: Not too thick which is nice for an Imperial. The carbonation is spot on with just the right amount to not take away from the complexities of the malt and hops. A very good porter.

I really have to say what sold this beer for me is the balance it has in all categories. As an Imperial it doesn't let you down in any one category for me. Its 8% is well hidden and balanced with the malt and hop profile. The perfect carbonation and thickness. This is a damn good Imperial only lacking a slightly higher abv than some other.

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Photo of jera1350
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thinner bodied and dark brown in color. A very thin layer of tan foam that leaves a little lacing.

Very sweet smelling. Lots of molasses on the nose with a nearly equal amount of malt which offers up notes of cereal.

Mirrors the nose quite well. Lots of sweetness in the form of molasses. A bit cloying per haps. The malt adds lots of grain and cereal flavors to the beer. Basically a one two punch going on. A little hop bitterness at the end.

I find this a little bit thin, especially at eight percent. The carbonation is a touch harsh as well.

Overall a nice beer. Rather sweet, but quite drinkable at the same time. There are certainly better beers for the style, but I enjoyed this one all the same.

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

I got this courtesy of coloradobeerbuff in a recent bif. I poured from a bomber into a snifter, tar black pour with a thin little white head. The aroma has coffee, chocolate, and the slightest hint of alcohol. The flavor has more chocolate than coffee, along with dark fruit notes. It has a lingering coffee finish. The body is solidly medium, decent carbonation, the alcohol is hidden. I really enjoyed my first offering from Ska, a tasty porter.

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

The beer is dark brown with ruby hints, tan high head that settles rather quickly, but leaves good lacing.

Burnt wood, some earthy nuances, a dark dried fruit sweetness.

The taste starts sweet, dark syrup and sugar, sweet dark bread, dried figs and dates, some bitter oranges and bitter lemon peel.

Medium low carbonation, soft and thick texture, syrup-like, a full body and a slow dry finish.

hard to pinpoint, but I get a bit unevenness in the taste and texture, maybe needs a few years of storing.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

We don't use the word nefarious enough. The beer that proves this pours a lightly ruby-tinted black-brown topped by a finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises coffee, roasted malts, light chocolate, rye bread, and wheat. The expected darkness isn't quite there, but a decent amount of lighter grain is. Odd. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, light spruce, caramel, and light oak. The body is a straight medium with a light moderate carbonation. Overall, a very nice Baltic porter, but I wouldn't necessarily put it near the top of my personal faves list for the style.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for bringing this bad boy over.

This beer pours a dark brown with an ecru foam that doesn't last too long. The smell is a combination of coffee and smoke. The taste here is almost a spicy flavor with the slight coffee notes. The mouthfeel. The spice is more of a pepper note. The mouth feel kinda drags on the flavor as well, but isn't horrible overall. This is a fairly drinkable beer. Not my favorite Baltic Porter, but it isn't that bad overall and I wouldn't turn people away from this beer.

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

Thanks to cmswoboda for this fine brew.

It's a beautiful, opaque, dark brown, with one finger of dark beige head that fades quickly to a cap. Sticky resin heavily grabs the glass. Pretty.

Man, what a sweet aroma of caramel, light roasty notes, chocolate, with hints of citrus, vanilla, and just a tease of alcohol warmth.

Sweet caramel opens the sip, which becomes full of chocolate, bready, and ends with some herbal bitter kicking in, and roasty notes becoming more pronounced. Juicy finish for sure, but semi balanced with the other deeper flavors. Quite sweet.

Mouthfeel is about the best feature of this beer, though not perfect from a style perspective. Creamy, low carb., no cloy to the sweet, no alcohol vapor, and an enjoyable finish.

Drinkability is very good for a beer this big and sweet.

Impression: If I could get this again, I would. I recommend it, it's sweet, drinkable, tasty.

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Arizona trip, aged 10 months. Pours black with little head. About average mouthfeel. Mild in relation to other baltics I've had, still very enjoyable and drinkable, with good roasting, chocolate, and slight oiliness.Sweet chocolate in aroma.

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Photo of Pellinore1
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown, nearly black, producing a finger of slowly fading tan head.

Smells of roasty malts and toasted bread, with some coffee in the back.

A very nice balance of flavors here. It begins with malt sweetness and bread, with coffee or dark chocolate bitterness lingering at the end.

This beer is smooth and somewhat creamy on the tongue, with just a hint of alcohol warmth at the end. Pleasant and quite drinkable.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Poured a from a 22oz. bomber. Nearly black with a nice, foamy and thick coffee colored head. Some retention on the glass, but not a ton.

SMELL: Pleasant coffee and malty nose. I would have preferred it was a bit stronger of a smell, but it was enough to excite the palate to taste it.

TASTE: A complex beer with several flavors that appeared in this order: Malty sweet, coffee, a hint of chocolate followed by a bitter hoppy taste that lasted from about the middle of the sip until the end. Very well balanced throughout. A mild smoky flavor was also present, but that's what made this porter so great to me. It had some smoke, but it wasn't overly smoky. Delicious.

MOUTHFEEL: Extremely smooth and mouth coating. An easy porter to drink.

OVERALL: A couple of disclosures may be necessary here. For starters, Ska is currently at the top of my list as my favorite brewery, so I may be a bit biased, but there is a reason they are my favorite - they keeping making beer like this. Second, I was pretty happy when I had this, my girlfriend had just finished making a fantastic steak dinner for us and it went perfectly with the steak. That said, although I have had the Ten Pin before and enjoyed it, this was the first time I had a chance to really pay attention to it and I was rewarded greatly for that. This might be the best porter I have had and it has awakened my interest in the style. I am now on the hunt for something to match it. Any suggestions would be great, send me some beer mail!

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