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 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 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 BeerDocT
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Such an honor to follow the great Woody in a review... . Bought a six-pack of these in Asheville, last time I was there and am finally getting around to reviewing one.

-Appearance 4: Every one of these has just gone nuts after I poured it. HUGE fizz up that eventually settles down into a normal inch high head. Jet black in color with a cream colored head. Very attractive.

-Smell 4: Lovely bouquet. Big smells of toasted grains, caramelized sugars and hops.

-Taste 4.25: Front is sweet with a certain hoppiness. Middle is somewhat neutral, but a very pleasant smoothness and hop flavor seeps in with a strange hint of butter flavor. Finish is alkaline with a pleasantly smooth level of hops which is accentuated by smoky grains. Everything is balanced and nuanced. Aftertaste is dry, very nuanced and features the smoky grains and a slight coffee flavor. Nice.

-Mouthfeel 3: This is the flaw of this beer. Mouthfeel is nice and deep, but there is far too much carbonation in this beer. CO2 should be tuned down a bit. Don't get me wrong, I think this style is helped out by a greater than normal level of carbonation, but its current level is over the top.

-Overall 4: Excellent porter. I really enjoy the flavor profiles in this beer and the hops chosen. My only complaint is the carbonation level. I would love to have this one on tap some day. I highly recommend this beer.

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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 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 patre_tim
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown almost opaque with some transparency, slight red tinge. Cannot see carbonation, head is 2 fingers, beige and fluffy.

S: Dark malt, coffee, earthy, a slight fishy smell but almost not present, chocolate, a bit of smoke.

T: Creamy, malty roasty, coffee, chocolate, smooth and balanced, little to no bitterness, a little metallic.

M: Smooth, medium body, medium carbonation.

O: Smooth and delicious for a porter, any negative scents or smells are only slight. Its well balanced and malty. Very good beer. Would go well with roast game.

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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 therica
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought to me from Asheville by a friend.

A= dark near-black, a nice brown head, some rimming.

S= plenty of chocolate in the nose, with hints of coffee; modest hops florals.

T= nicely chocolate, the coffee becomes more apparent in the taste than in the nose; nicely carbonated, not too much-- I found it rather balanced.

M= chocolate, some hops florals and hints of coffee remain but the chocolate dominates.

O= a very nicely balanced Porter in the traditional style.

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Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hmmmm, a ridiculously foamy pour. I'm talking 1" of liquid and then 4" of foam. Dark brown pour with a fluffy light brown head. Bottle starts foaming over shortly afterwards. Annoying. Head fades very very slowly, leaving very light and fluffy tendrils of lacing. Big island of foam in the center remains perpetually.

S: Light chocolate and char from the roasted malt. A little metallic twang but nothing big.

T: Nice light chocolate and char flavors. Touch of cocoa powder and a little bitterness. Hints of bitter coffee on the back end along with more char. Pretty subtle, this is a pretty low ABV beer.

M: Light, creamy, smooth. Carbonation is just a touch high but not bad given the gushing bottle.

O: Given the extreme carbonation and gushing I expected it to be overcarbed or infected. It was neither oddly enough. In fact it's a lower ABV tasty porter. Fairly light but well balanced and not watery. Simple.

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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 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 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 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 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 sulldaddy
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh from a trade with jerryfreaks. Thanks man!

Poured at room temp into a snifter the beer pours a rich cola brown with fluffy tan head of 2.5 cm even with a gentle pour. The head fades gradually to a sturdy edge layer and thin wispy surface bubbles.
Aroma is roasted malt and some brown sugar. Not a huge nose but appealing none the less.
First sip reveals an average to light body and fine tingly carbonation. The texture is silky smooth and the beer drinks very easily on each sip.
The beer features a roasted malt and again some brown sugar. There are hits of dry cocoa powder mixed in as well.
A fairly straight forward beer that isnt overly complex, but I do enjoy what it does possess. A nice easy drinking porter can be hard to find in a world of extreme everything. Worth a try.

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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 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 aubuc1
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

pours dark brown with a thick tan head.

smell is roasty. very coffeeish. i dont like coffee.

taste is much like it smells. coffeeish with a sweet finish.

sort of thin mouthfeel.

This is a flavorful beer, but not one that suits my tastes.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Very dark with some auburn hues. It has a small tan head that doesn't really leave any lacing but does keep a thin layer throughout the pint.

S-Sweet, roasted malt, caramel.

T-Very sweet with lots of caramel coming through and some hints of roasted malts. The sweetest American Porter I've tried.

M-About right for the style not too thick or to thin and not overly carbonated.

D-I think after a couple of pints the sweetness would cut into my drinkability of this beer. I did enjoy my single pint and would drink it again.

Overall, this was just a little to sweet for me. It wasn't as robust as others of the style.

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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 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 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 jpro
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC...

A: Pours a dark brown / near black into a dimpled mug, with a nice and tight one-finger cap of khaki foam that leaves some nice sheets of lace throughout consumption; held to light, this beer shows some deep mahogany highlights around the edges.

S: Chocolate and lightly roasted malts; maybe a touch of coffee, but not much; very clean aroma.

T: Nice chocolate malt flavor, followed by some pretty heavily roasted notes - maybe even a touch charry and acrid (in a good way) toward the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; sticks to the palate.

D: A very satisfying porter - glad I gave it a try and would happily have it again.

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Photo of beer2day
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black pour with 1/2 finger of medium cream head. No retention. Very nice strands of lace run horizontal down the glass.

Faint dark chocolate nose. The aroma is very nice, just not strong enough.

Thin hit and feel up front, then an intense chocolate burst. Creamy vanilla finish.

Good amount of fizz in the feel. Could be creamier.

Very nice sessionable porter.

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