Ninja Porter | Asheville Brewing Company

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Ninja PorterNinja Porter

Brewed by:
Asheville Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheBierBand on 06-19-2007

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 239
Photo of lisomiso
1.87/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Got this from Urbancaver. Uh, thanks for the thought? You're a dear?

Smells like green apple and grape bubble yum. Sour, plastic-y, awful on the palate. It's not stomach-turning, but I'm having trouble drinking enough of it to write a review.

I like the label. Walows hates it. To each their own I guess. I only mention it because we kind of fought about it as we drank.

ETA: I see my review is drastically low? Maybe we got a bad bottle? I hope so...

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Photo of zeledonia
1.95/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

One of the coolest label designs I've seen. Let's see if the beer lives up to it. Cap looks like it was put on with a hand capper.

Pours a dark coffee brown, opaque in the glass. Big fluffy two-finger medium-tan head. Decent retention, and foamy lacing reaching up the sides of the glass. A nice looking beer.

Smell is pretty faint. I get a bit of chocolate from the malts, and some smoke, but a light, slightly vinegary white-grape smell is the second thing I pick up. Comes in very high in the nose, with more of the notes I'd expect from a white wine than a porter.

Taste is... blech. If I weren't reviewing it, I'd stop now. I feel like I'm getting all of the bad sides of a porter, without the good. It's just foul. There's a touch of smoke. But mainly it's sour, acidic, and pungent, with the character of rotten fruit.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Moderate carbonation. Finish is quite dry. Not bad, but I just want it to go away.

I think this is the worst porter I've ever had. Infected bottle, maybe? Hard for me to say without trying it again. But the rest of this is going down the drain.

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Photo of AaronDz
2.72/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from can. Appearance is dark brown with a thin tan head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is chocolate, caramel, and a bit of toast. Taste follows suit but a bit metallic and has notes of coffee and a slight hop bitterness. Medium body with moderate low carbonation. Overall a mediocre porter.

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Photo of beerwolf77
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks goes to gehenherzog for this bottle. Split into tulips.

A: Dark chocolate brown with a modest mocha hued head. Soapy lace left behind.

S: Chocolate roast malt. Coffee and a hint of peanut butter. Maybe even a touch vanilla in there.

T: Flavors are rather light. Modest chocolate and coffee. Seems rather thin and almost watered down.

M: Medium to light body. Mild carbonation.

O: Meh. Nothing really special here.

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Photo of shivtim
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

I tried this on-tap at the brew pub / pizza house. It came in a pint glass. A little too cold. Dark brown with no head, just a couple of tiny suds at the surface. Smell was slightly sweet, with hints of smoky malts. Taste was molasses and grains, but overall was very faint. Malts were nondescript. Mouthfeel was exceptionally watery, as if there was no carbonation whatsoever.

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Photo of dc55110
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received as an extra from Uwftke26.

Pours cola color, small head quickly vanishes. Not much to look at.

Roasted malts, a bit of smoke, yeast and a hint of sweetness.

Slightly watery smokey/roasty malt, with hints of caramel. There is lots of bready yeast on the finish.

Very thin, some what drying finish, leaves a little behind and not in a good way.

Very underwhelmed, just not very much going on here.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

served into a pint glass at the brewery. kind of a very dark ruby with cranberry highlights. small white head. some lacing but not much. aroma was pretty much nonexistent. a touch of chocolate but mostly just light grains. pretty blah. taste was more of the same. a small amount of chocolate and a good dose of fruity sweetness but mostly bland. light bodied and watery. just an average house beer.

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Photo of wcudwight
2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown in color with a finger height mocha colored head. Good retention with sudsy lacing. Roasted cocoa aroma. Taste like a browny. Thin mouthfeel. Feels a bit watery. Decent porter that's good to session but won't blow your mind away. I've had it on-tap and it's much better.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle split and poured into a New Belgium globe.
No date or info.

Thanks to my #1 ninja, Beerwolf77 for sharing!

A - Dark brown with good clarity, Ninja Porter creeps out of the bottle stealthily. The quiet-forming tan head lowers slowly while leaving a thin arc of lace behind.

S - Homebrew-y, it's got a faint yeast aroma that reminds of an old wood-paneled liquor store. Roasty notes and hints of brown sugar with coffee remain in the background.

T - Roasty chocolate malts have coffee tones and a mildly hoppy balance. Boring and average.

M - The carbonation cuts through the beer like a katana; acrid, dry, bitter finishing, it's medium-light in body.

O - An average brew overall, at least it wasn't an infected mess like the bottle we tried at one of the Central Waters anniversary parties.

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Photo of CWiggins
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Even though I pass through Asheville a couple of times a year, I've never visited Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company. I was surprised to see three of their brews for sale in 22oz bottles at Bruisin' Ales this past week; I picked up the Ninja Porter and Shiva IPA for $4 each.

It's a little lighter than the thick, black liquid I'm used to seeing when pouring a porter, but once it gets in the glass the sheer density renders it opaque. No real head formed on this pour, but a smattering of soda-like bubbles appeared briefly. A deep inhalation reveals a faint whiff of dark fruit, but mostly one notices the normal burnt malt aroma so characteristic of porter beer. The flavor is delightfully dark with a medium richness of burnt malt essence. A bit of hop bitterness arrives toward the finish, but the aftertaste is mainly of dark-roasted coffee. Hmm, hmm. Perhaps I've had too many "imperial" porters to be impressed with this lighter style-the mouthfeel seems lean and bubbly-but I admit it is fun to drink and nice to ponder.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer that I grabbed when I was down in NC.

Pouring a dark, woody brown with brown highlights, there's a dense, beige-colored head that recedes to a thin disk, leaving patchy foam. The nose is decent. A big hop character is present, rather pine-like, along with a moderate chocolate and caramel sweetness. Heavily roasted grain character is low. The hops also add a mild floral touch to the nose. And I also seem to be the only one to pick out the rather big pine hop character, so either this is a reformulated recipe, or this is just incredibly fresh.

On the palate, there's no mistaking the hops for anything else. Definitely present as a flavor addition, there's a rather noticeable pine hop flavor. Hop bitterness is low, though there is a definite grainy bitterness with some chocolate and coffee grounds. Despite the relatively low ABV, the mouthfeel is quite excellent. Medium in body with soft carbonation, this feels fuller than I expected. However, the flavors just aren't there. The roast isn't prominent enough, and the pine hop flavors don't work as well with the caramel and coffee. The flavors don't linger like they do with better porters (see Ed Fitz) Also, there isn't enough flavor to ride the wonderful body, it seems a little lacking. All told, a solid effort.

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Photo of n00tz
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark body, tan head , undetectable carbonation.

S - smoke and bread, the rest is pretty much all malt.

T - Slight smoke, little bit of toasted bread. No hop to speak of, but some cocoa maltiness.

M - (missing from my notes)

D - Overall average porter offering - nothing that really sets it apart from the rest of the porters I've had, but it is good.

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Photo of scifan
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a nice tan head that quickly fades to a wispy ring.
Smells pretty good, getting some black and chocolate malt aromas. Smells a little sweet and some coffee in there as well.
Getting taste similar to smells. Nice roasted barley flavors, and light chocolatly flavors and a lightly bitter finish.
Unfortunatly this one is a more than a little thin, almost watered down. This was its only flaw so I won't knock it too much though. All in all a very subtle and very drinkable porter.

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Photo of callisbeers
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a stien. Huge frothy head, nice lacing. Dark brown, deep red color. Not great at describing tastes but this one kind of has a burnt flavor to it. The malty flavor wants to come out but just can't overcome the burnt taste. Lots of carbonation which also affects the taste and mouthfeel. Overall an average porter, would probably try again if served on tap.

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Photo of hophugger
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Deep chocolate-brown color with average head and minimal lacing. Aromas of alcohol hit first with hints of coffee. Taste is good with touches of coffee, chocolate and some alcohol(weird since this is only 5.6abv. Overall, balance is decent, a little burn and finishes fairly clean with leftover hints of coffee and chocolate..

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Photo of gford217
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Ding at the Brick Store.

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a small, fleeting off-white head that leaves no lacing.

The aroma is subdued and mostly dominated by dark roasted malts with only hints of chocolate and coffee in the background.

The taste has a slightly more pronounced chocolate sweetness that balances the smoked malts more than the aroma would suggest. The finish is dry and slightly smoky, possibly with some coffee bitterness though very faint.

The mouthfeel is very light for the style with less carbonation than I expected.

This is an average porter that doesn't stand out in any way and is very light for the style. Not bad but nothing memorable.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, dark brown, not quite black with a huge tan head, loose bubbles, and it leaves fairly sticky lacing. I think there's quite a bit of yeast haze, it's hard to see through the darkness. Looks pretty good, but not really great. Smells a lot like carbonation, maybe a bit of yeasty off-flavors, maybe some fruity smells which muddy it up. In the back I can sense some burnt roastiness, but there isn't enough to make it too interesting. The taste has a bit of burnt sugar, a bit of dark chocolate, a little more coffee, but quite a bit of burnt, like burnt toast. I can taste a little bit of what seems like hot fermentation flavor. The thinness makes it a little less appealing too. I think that it has everything present, but doesn't quite deliver. As for the mouthfeel, the body is just a bit too thin and the carbonation a bit too sharp, but it's not awful for a light porter. The drinkability is good. Not the most enjoyable beer, could use a little more sweetness, but the alcohol is not strong enough to slow me down too much. I could probably drink a bit more than 22oz if I wanted, but revisiting it, with the variety in the world, is unlikely.

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Photo of SerialHiker
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown…dark and dense…head is a mocha color and thin…at first pour, it was thick and luscious, but has settled to a thin to wispy layer…(3/5)

Smell: Roasted malts up front…it’s certainly not overly pungent, I really have to stick my nose in there to catch more complexity…I do pick up some mild dry chocolate and oatmeal…no real hops presence…as it warms, it loses aroma…eh…(3/5)

Taste: Once again, roasted malts up front…it’s got a creamy, richness to it without tasting milky…oatmeal, faint coffee bitterness and a hint of airy citrus hops…hops are very faint, but do round out the overall flavor…this is for sure a malt driven vehicle and unfortunately, there’s little exotic happening here…a good nice flavor, but it’s basic…(3.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body…carbonation is also very light, with little fluff happening here…I’m not sure if I had a badly shaken can or something, but this brew initially exploded with carbonation and now is a faint shell of that…a nice roasted malt with a light oatmeal flavor lingers into the after taste…(3.25/5)

Overall: Hmmm, this beer was underwhelming when I really broke it’s parts down…I’ve had it before and have always enjoyed it, but my individual scores don’t necessarily reflect that…it’s got an easy drinkability which in the end is the most important factor, but I have to say I find the flavor a bit boring…while it’s good, it doesn’t stray far from the safety net of roasted malts…worthy of mixing in a six pack, it’s good, not great…(3.5/5)

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Ding for cracking this.

Pours pitch black, almost opaque with a small quickly dissipating head. Smells of fine roasted coffee, burnt malts, smoke, and alcohol. First sip is tasty smooth and surprisingly light bodied with roasted malts and coffee notes most prevalent. Nothing too special when compared to others in this style.

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Photo of glid02
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this courtesy of Ding - much obliged!

Pours a very dark brown color with a thin off-white head. The head recedes quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, with hints of unsweetened chocolate and coffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although the unsweetened chocolate comes out a bit more. The ending is bitter, with equal parts coffee and roasted malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is good, though a bit on the thin side. Still, it manages to go down pretty smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I enjoyed the little bit that I had, but I'm not terribly excited about drinking a whole lot more.

Overall this was a good porter, but there are many others out there I'd choose before this one.

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Photo of jonB
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bomber after visiting the brew pub. It was my favorite of the places I visited in Asheville. The porter is everything you expect/hope it will be. It pours a dark black with a good amount of head. The smell is very sweet with a little bit of alcohol, but the taste comes back to roasted malts with a slightly light mouthfeel. Overall it is a good sipping porter that falls toward the sweet side.

*I also used it to make a beef stew and it added a great flavor.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had at the brewpub while visiting Asheville for the day. Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a deep dark brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, slight cream, and subtle hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and slight bitter hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Awe-inspiring? Hell no... All of the flavors seemed watered down/diluted. The aroma was good though. I would give this one a shot at least once, but that's it.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark pour, light tan foamy head that left a few specks of lacing. Nose is roasted malts and faint chocolate but neither is very strong. The taste is the same with a sweetness and bitterness present with the roasty flavor and chocolate. The flavor profile is mainly sweetness and bitterness. Not a bad beer but just doesn't bring bold flavor.

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Photo of drpimento
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Excellent appearance with a huge tan billowy head that lasts with lace. Otherwise a bit sweet and shallow. Not bad and drinkable, but not a lot of character.

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Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at brewery.

A - Near black with a lasting but small tan head. Some mahogany highlights.

Aroma: malty with some hops in the background.

T - Richer and more bitter than your average porter. Slightly smokey, especially in the finish which is also tinted with coffee and bitter chocolate. ABC beers tend to be earthy, which works well in most cases, but this one is too earthy.

M - medium-full body with rather light carbonation.

O - after really enjoying some other beers at ABC, I was disappointed with this dark brew. Certainly not exceptional, but solid and now available in cans.

(revised with 12 oz can served in August 2013)

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Ninja Porter from Asheville Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 239 ratings.
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