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

I had this on tap at the source last night.

This beer pours out a dark brown color. A small tan head forms on tap and fades after a time to a fairly thick foam, leaving light spots of lacing behind it.
The aroma is roasted malts, a touch nutty with a bittersweet chocolate note. It's just a touch light, but I'm not expecting a stout.
The flavor is pretty full, perhaps like a Guinness with more flavor and less of the astringency. Roasted malts with a light bitter sweetness, dry with just a touch of dark fruits and definite coffee notes. A light hops finish offers balance without taking away the malt-forward nature.
This has a standard mouthfeel for a porter: a medium-full body, low carbonation, and a bit creamy.
This is a nice brew from the APBC.

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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 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 Onenote81
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another of the offerings I had at the brewpub the other night. Came out a dark black with a bit of light around the edges. Small tan head capped it off. Sip rings and lace present. Scents of coffee, milk chocolate, and dark breads.

Another full-bodied beer here. I like the depth of this. This is definitely a more coffee-forward beer. Flavors of espresso, pumpernickel bread, and graham crackers. This was my favorite offering of the night I think. Well done!

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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 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 lflow
4.46/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ashville Pizza and Brewing Co. is an awesome place to stop. Really cool pub with great pizza, and a porter that is more than worth writing home about. Stopped here on my way back from a vacation, and this meal was better than the actual vacation.

The porter is dark black with a nice tan head, that does last a little while. The smell is mostly roasted malt, a little chocolate. Like the scottish, the smell was a little weak.

Taste is delicious. Roasted malts, without a lot of sweet taste, just roasty. Chocolate. Call me crazy, I think I tasted something like freshly ground malt. Also tastes a bit earthy.

This beer is smooth, thick, absolutely awesome. I could drink it all day long.

I took a bomber home with me. Try this beer, and you will too.

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

22oz bomber into a pint glass (in sections obv) :)

A - Jet black with a good 2 finger thick tan head (very tight bubbles)

S - Sweet chocolate and light coffee malt presence. Mmmmalty!

T - Dark chocolate and great roasted malt goodness. Not overly sweet, but more of a rich mocha malt brew. No fake smoke flavor, just the goods.

M - Thick and almost chewy, this beer is like a meal in itself. Or at least an afternoon snack!

D - High. This would go great with spicy BBQ or Oriental food IMO.

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Photo of rnd6510
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Asheville Brew Non-View.
Served in pint glass with a half-finger head and left hardly any lacing on the glass.
Smell was pleasant. Roasted chocolate and mild oak.
The taste was not bad. The chocolate was light and it was pretty refreshing for a porter.
Very smooth and drinkable beer.
Not a beer that requires a lot of thought.
Will have it again. I think it would be better on a 50 degree day however.
Solid beer.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 AshevilleSippin
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short Version:
Very fresh and delicious. Roasty chocolate on the nose, smoky on the tongue. Balanced malt. Very drinkable.

Aaaaah... a'las. Sitting at a preferred brew pub with a cold pint and a pen in hand (Asheville Brewing Company). Since I endeavored on the life of a BA drone I've been cloistered in my home with nothing but bottles (not a bad I life I must add). My intermittent visits to said establishments haven't been conducive to dropping a session yet.

Today's selection is the elusive Ninja Porter. Oddly enough my first visit (of several) where the tap wasn't dry on this little gem. And now I have the honor of knowing why.

This beauty poured absolutely opaque. You couldn't see a plasma welding torch through it in a darkroom. Nice 1/2 khaki head that looked thick and chewy as beef jerky. The malty nose was big and roasty with chocolate tones that would make the Godiva Candy Co. brown with envy.

On the palate was a deft roasty chocolaty segue from the smell but was complimented nicely by a smoky richness that brought it all together.

It's a medium bodied beer that drinks easy as a light bodied beer. Mid-glass with a spirited chew I can pull off some alcohol which is refreshing for a porter. I expect nothing less.

These beer is less defined by its taste (which is solid and well above average) as it is by its freshness and lack of flaws. Nothing jumps out and says "this is the best porter ever!". But it tastes really darn good and there's not a single flaw that says "it's pretty good buuuut...". Could be the ridiculous freshness of it that's redlining the rating as well (sitting directly at the source you see). The lace is almost obnoxious. Frothy, clingy, and leaving telltale marks of every drink I've taken.

I'm in a hurry today so have to leave it at one. Can't wait to get back here though.

p.s. Order the Nacho Mama if you stop in here. Off the hook nachos.

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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 TheBierBand
4.14/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at "Broo-er's Village" at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN. This festival occurs every year in Mid June.... 4 days....100 bands... 11 stages... 80,000 people....GREAT TIME! Each year, they have a tent set up with various microbrews to sample. The 2007 "Broo-er's Village" had offerings from Rogue Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery, Asheville Brewery, Magic Hat, Flying Dog Brewery, and a few others.

The Ninja Porter was served to me in a 12 oz Plastic cup... the head was about 1/2" and creamy tan. The liquid was dark/black... but it was viewed through the semi opaque plastic cup.

The aroma was malty and chocolate.

The taste was very good! The dark chocolate taste was most prevalent and the malty richness came through and lingered. Nice balance with a slight hop bitterness that just balances off the chocolate sweetness. A nice porter!

Mouthfeel was nice as well. The carbonation was adequate.... not too fizzy. The thickness (viscosity) was healthy and meaty.

Drinkability: I could have had a few of these.... I did not inquire as to what the ABV was. But I feel that one could enjoy a few of these in a sitting. I highly recommend this beer.

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