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Ninja Porter | Asheville Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
82
good
72 Reviews
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Ninja PorterNinja Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Asheville Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States
ashevillebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
235
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
22.38%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
43
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 235
Photo of metter98
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very dark red in color (black when viewed from afar). It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of ground coffee beans and chocolate malts are present in the nose. The coffee becomes more dominant as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of chocolate malts and dark roasted coffee beans that are well balanced and provide an interesting contrast between sweetness and bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is extremely easy to drink and has nice flavors of coffee, particularly as the beer warms up. I wouldn't have a problem drinking a few of these in one sitting.

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Photo of brentk56
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with garnet highlights; the tan head builds to a finger or two and leaves just a few dots here and there

Smell: Roasty, with some chocolate and a hint of coffee

Taste: Roast, chocolate and walnuts, up front, with a bit of coffee and earthy hop tones developing, in the middle; the flavor fades a bit in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A nice, workable porter; enjoyable and easy to drink

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left soapy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of cocoa, roasted malt and floral notes. Really a great porter aroma.

T - It tasted of chocolate/cocoa, roasted malts, caramel and toffee.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a really good porter. Great aroma and a really good taste.

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown with a thinner off white head that left a single ring of lace as it faded quickly.Mainly roast in the nose with a tinge of bitter chocolate,pretty basic but not bad.Flavors are roasty with a bit of molasses-like sweetness,the roast and sweetness go well together,I did pick up some faint smoke as I drank more in the finish.Not a bad porter,it has some sweetness to it.

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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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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate brown with generous ferric oxide edges. An overcast morning prevents me from determining opacity versus lucency. The golden sand colored lid is barely two fingers in size, but it looks good enough and is beginning to deposit attractive sheets of finely dotted lace.

The nose indicates that Ninja Porter isn't messing around and should be pretty good beer. It's boldly dark malty, with coffee beans leading the way. No appreciable hoppiness isn't a problem at all.

Keeping the ABV in mind (5.6%), this ABC ale is a well-crafted porter that checks each and every one of the style boxes with a big red 'X'. More barley would make it even better, but that's just my big beer bias talking. On the other hand, its relative lightness ensures that this bomber is well on its way to disappearing posthaste.

Despite a twinge of tightening on the finish, this is a malt-dominant beer when it comes to flavor. Bittersweet chocolate and black coffee are well out in front. Actually, there aren't many other flavors present. Then again, complexity isn't a necessary characteristic in an easy drinking porter.

I'm willing to cut it a great deal of slack, but the body/mouthfeel doesn't quite earn the bigger score. It's a fraction too light and doesn't have enough volumizing bubbles. Not bad, just not as deserving of praise.

(Teenage Mutant) Ninja Porter is good beer if you're in the mood for a 'no bells or whistles' version that does almost everything right and almost nothing wrong. Along with their Old School Pale Ale, this is my favorite Asheville beer so far.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last one for the night, seriously, been a long day at the festival, with a ton of good beer around to enjoy, typing up this review and hitting the sack. Poured a deep hazelnut brown with a an off white head. Decent retention and a good amount of lace went along, some fizzy carboantion. Smell was sweet, I think this would fit better as an oatmeal porter to be honest. Roasted caramel and malts and a touch of sugar in the aroma. Nice creamy feel, really very smooth. The taste was full of roasted malt, burned coffee and some nuttiness as well. A bit of sugar rouned it out nicely. Nice dry finish. Very very drinkable, this was easily a session beer for sure. Overall a very nice porter, I would definatly try this one again. A little thin, but overall worth a shot

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear very dark amber (almost black) in color with some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some dark garnet red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a creamy thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts with notes of freshly ground coffee and some dark chocolate. The coffee flavors become more pronounced as the beer warms up.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of dark roasted malts with some chocolate malts. There are light to moderate flavors of freshly ground coffee that intensifies as the beer warms. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish that fades quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is very well balanced between the sweetness of the malts and the bitterness of the roasted malts and coffee. Extremely easy to drink and enjoyable, easily sessionable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of my NC beer haul:

Pours a chestnut tinged mahogany with a finger of mocha colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Coffee & dark fruit

T: Roasty grain, coffee, a touch of oakyness & vanilla up front. Dryness & coffee tastes pick up as this warms, along with some leafy hops & some fruityness as well (plummyness). Finishes dry & roasty with a touch of brown sugar & persimmons

MF: Medium bodied, over carbonated up front, smooths out a bit as this warms, plus a touch of oilyness. Balances out well once warm

Drinks pretty easy, a respectable American Porter. The two beers from this brewery have measured up nicely

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Photo of woodychandler
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My local, in-person trader, tone77, keeps referring to me as a master of The CANQuest (TM), but his latest drop-off has left my jaw hanging open and my tongue lolling in my head!

From the CAN: "Open a CAN of Whoop Ass!"

I keep thinking of Ninja Kitty, the terroristic stray in the comic strip, "One Big Happy" as I CANtemplate opening it. Am I going to be blindly opening a CAN of whoop ass and being surprised by its CANtents? Is this to be the end of The CANQuest (TM)? Stay tuned for answers to these and other burning questions, like "Will the sun rise in the east tomorrow?" and "Does anybody remember the PIN to my ATM card?"

The Crack was less jugular-attacking than I imagined it would be, so I decided to see if an inverted Glug would shake things up. Did it not?!? I had a cascading action that forced me to ramp back and ease up on the gas. It created two fingers of dense, deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-brown with just enough light penetration to allow me to take in its ruby highlights. Nose was coffee, dark chocolate, spearmint. I was suddenly thinking of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was initially more milk chocolate and I was not getting much in the way of hops on the tongue. Finish was smokier and mintier than it had been in the mouth. Not bad, but not enough to really trip my trigger, either.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle with dinner at Salsas in Asheville.

A - pitch black with a thin lacing of brown head

S - roasty, creamy, faint coffee

T - roasty, chocolate, creamy, faint bitter finish

M - medium to full bodied, smooth, light carbonation

This is a very smooth, rich, roasty beer. It paired nicely with the mexican food I was enjoying. This is definitely worth trying.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

Classic walnut brown body with a hint of red like chestnut brown. Some clarity to this just slightly, and a real nice cascading light tan head. Four fingers tall off the pour, with swiss cheese big bubbles. Some minimal retention and falls to a good clumpy collar.

Nice charing simple roast malts. A little bit of sweetness some slight coffee like aromas. Some cookie and peanut butter like qualities come as well with a real nice tolerable sweetness. Pretty solid.

Palate washes a little wet, but manages to be ok. Some simple grain and roasted malts but also a bit of steely medicinal qualities in the finish. Nice contrast of mild hop bitterness that lingers on the finish, but also metallic senses seem to linger slightly. Mouthfeel also comes off a little flattened, but at least not like watery dead cola. Mellow sensing roast and with some time some of the nutty peanut butter like qualities manage to poke out.

Overall ok porter but nothing mindblowing.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, deep, hazelnut-brown coloring, almost black in the middle, with a thin, sparse, clingy, light tan head. Aromas of roasted mocha, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa nib, and a subtle crème highlight. Flavors are rich and roasted forward, with a blast of bitter coffee on the palate, followed by subtle chocolate and cream notes, and an earthy undertone. Smooth and light bodied, with a semisweet and heavily roasted mocha and chocolate aftertaste. The finish is smooth, with a bitter coffee linger, and slightly dry. Solid porter.

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Photo of Tone
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight alcohol, slight hops, yeast, hint of chocolate, and a hint of oatmeal. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of oatmeal, slight alcohol, yeast, and a hint of hop. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and complexity.

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Photo of tone77
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, coffee, a touch of licorice. Taste is a good balance of coffee and chocolate, a touch of licorice at the finish, pretty tasty. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

5.6% abv can canned on 2/5/13 poured into a shaker

pours a pitch black with a big frothy head with massive lacing. smell is typical for a porter. malty and chocolatey. taste remains true. typical porter characteristics here, as it should be. a good feel for a porter , medium bodied with medium carb.

overall a good porter. would definitely have another.

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Photo of pat61
4.19/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours bright dark brown with ruby highlights under a 2” lacy tan head that lasts 3 minutes.

S: Light chocolate, a trace of dark dried fruit, light grains.

T: Very light chocolate with faint caramel and coffee. Lightly sweet, traces of grains. The malt flavors are medium high, hop flavors and bitterness are medium low. Smooth flavors with nothing harsh or burnt.

F: Creamy medium to medium high body and medium low carbonation.

O: A very drinkable porter.

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Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I didn't expect much, going in, but big chocolate notes, fairly sweet, with a dry and fairly bitter finish. There's a lingering aftertaste I can't quite place, but otherwise, very nice.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Buffalo Nickel Asheville. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a full sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing slides slowly down the glass.

S-Good roasty aroma that's slightly sweet with notes of milk chocolate. A bit nutty.

T- Flavor brings more roast but it's moderate as a porter should be. However, unlike other porters, the flavor is not moderate. Plenty of chocolate and vanilla sweetness and a bit of coffee in the aftertaste.

M- Slightly robust with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- While it's not exceptional, I feel like the low BA score of this beer doesn't do it justice. It's one of ABC's best beers IMO and it being available in cans certainly doesn't hurt.

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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 jmdrpi
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, no date

Black, opaque, thick head that stays. Some lacing. Aroma has some nice milk chocolate notes. Balanced taste, not too sweet. Medium to thicker bodied.

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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 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 dirtylou
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, carefully shipped by blackie

appearance: ninja label, poured into an ale asylum pint, dark mahogany body, creamy tan foam, light retention

smell: roasty, dry cocoa, pretty tame

taste: dry and roasty porter, milk chocolate, dark fruits, roasted oats, roasted malts. pretty good porter - but i like them richer and creamier

mouthfeel: dry, on the lighter end of the spectrum

drinkability: fine

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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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Ninja Porter from Asheville Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 235 ratings.
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