Ninkasi Brewing Company

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Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
Stout - Sweet / Milk
Ranked #322
Ranked #10,124
4.02 | pDev: 8.71%
Jun 26, 2020
Aug 24, 2015
Notes: Noir blends two signature brews of the Pacific Northwest: coffee and beer. This coffee milk stout combines roasted malts with smooth cold brewed coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. A subtle sweetness from milk sugar (lactose) makes this beer reminiscent of the most satisfying cup of joe; distinctive and delectable.
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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

Thanks to corpulent for bringing this when we went golfing December 5, 2016.

Pours black, 1/3" beige head. Aroma of chocolate milk and coffee.

Sweet chocolate keeps it up in the taste profile. Coffee seems a distant second in the race for most prominent taste. Really diminishes the roasted malt, which I guess is what a milk stout is supposed to do to some appreciable degree. Its smooth but I'm not getting vanilla. Its mostly sweet chocolate on this one. Carbonation is good on it.

The cool thing about Ninkasi is they make good beer at a great price. I think if I were to improve on this one, I would try and maybe cut the lactose in half and see if more of the roasted barley and coffee comes out. Found it to be a little too dominated by the sweet chocolate throughout the entire experience, warming it up didn't really cause it to change in that regard.

Jun 26, 2020
1.75 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington on May 08, 2019
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25
by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

Initial review 12/28/15.
Undated bomber at 42 degrees into snifter
Aroma weak, roasted malt and coffee
Head small (Two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to irregular two to four mm frothy ring and frothy partial layer
Lacing good – arcs and complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor of coffee and roasted malt, starting slightly sweet and becoming slightly bitter; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, bordering on creamy, lively carbonation
Overall, a decent porter but kind of thin for a stout.
Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 3.75, Overall 4 Reviewed 12/28/15

Accidental second review 4/19/18.
$ 5.93 (Including tax)/capped bomber ($ 0.269/oz) from State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD.
Undated bottle but cap says “N10 Anniversary”. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 50 degrees in a hand-washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.25.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque. Holding to light permits some penetration at the rim, brown.
Head – Large (Maximum 4.4 cm, controlled center pour), tan, dense, good retention slowly diminishing to a three to four mm ring and a complete layer with rocks.
Lacing – Excellent. Wide complete rings of tiny to small bubbles.
First pour – Medium brown, clear.
Aroma – 4 – Chocolate.
Flavor – 4 – Chocolate dominates and is slightly sweet but is not overpowering. A ghost of coffee flits into the aftertaste along with just a touch of bitterness. No distinct maltiness or hoppiness are present. There is no flavor of alcohol, diacetyl, or dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 - Medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and summation – 4.25 - According to the website, this brew is “Archived”. Also, according to the website, this is their 11th year in business, so this bottle would be from 2017. But the website copyright date is 2016 so the bottle is possibly from 2016. Hell, this might even be from the same run I rated in 2015. DATE THE BOTTLES!
The palate is exactly as expected (i.e. average) for a milk/sweet stout. Whatever the age of this bottle and its storage condition (It was a shelf beer when I bought it), it is still quite tasty although the coffee is just a dream of past glory. It also looks and smells good. Next trip to Elkton I’ll buy a couple more bottles – cheap at twice the price!

Apr 19, 2018
4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Jan 02, 2018
4 by dpgoblejr from New Hampshire on Dec 30, 2017
4.12 by Buck_Jones from Michigan on Oct 01, 2017
Photo of avalon07
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by avalon07 from South Carolina

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was a small amount of creamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Very good lacing.

S: A decent aroma of chocolate, coffee, milk, malt, and vanilla.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of roasted malt, a bit of chocolate (could have used more), some coffee notes, light vanilla, a hint of licorice, a little lactose, and a little of the milky quality. Kind of an odd flavor that favors certain ingredients over others (i.e., the malt over the chocolate). Still, a likable flavor.

F: A decent shot of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This isn't exactly what I'd call a perfect stout, but it is drinkable. Worth a look.

Aug 27, 2017
4.08 by BarrelAgedG from California on Jul 18, 2017
Photo of brentk56
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Apperance: Pours a translucent coffee color with the bubble show forming a two finger head; decent retention and spotty lacing

Smell: Chocolate and coffee; smells a bit over-roasted

Taste: Chocolate forward, with the coffee overtaking quickly; very roasty and bitter, after the swallow and through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Tastes like the dregs of coffee; burnt and ashy

Jul 09, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

The appearance was black colored with a bar pour’s kind of barely a head. Rating adjusted accordingly. The smell had a sweet milk chocolate over top of a light dark chocolate. Some vanilla runs in for the balance. The taste had a damp sweetness of the previously mentioned flavors running into light anise/black licorice. The aftertaste and finish are the same. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation finishes nicely. Overall, this is a nice milk/sweet stout that I would have again.

Jun 09, 2017
4 by DerwinWentworth from Utah on Jun 02, 2017
4.1 by Prost76 from New Hampshire on May 02, 2017
Photo of Wasatch
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Wasatch from Colorado

22 oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus light tan head, which leaves some very nice creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some nice chocolate/toffee, nice little touch of coffee, vanilla, some roastyness. The taste is really nice, malty, nice little roastyness, chocolate/toffee, little coffee note, vanilla. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a really nice brew.

Apr 18, 2017
4.19 by Mack from Canada (QC) on Mar 13, 2017
3.5 by atrocity from Virginia on Mar 01, 2017
4.06 by JuiceMan818 from California on Feb 24, 2017
Photo of stortore
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by stortore from Illinois

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Had 10/20/16.

Pours a mostly opaque dark brown, with a small head and some spotty lacing. Smells of cocoa, malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cream. The taste starts evenly between the coffee and cocoa, then malt, chocolate, some vanilla, the lactose is less noticeable than the nose. A good amount of coffee bitterness, especially on the finish. Smooth, a little creamy, an appropriate level of carbonation, a good, medium body.

Very enjoyable to drink. A good amount of coffee. but not as coffee forward as implied. The lighter body was an interesting twist. Worth a purchase.

Feb 12, 2017
Photo of AndrewMichael
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by AndrewMichael from Virginia

22 oz bottle, at a bottle share. L: black w/ white foamy head. S: Coffee and rich malts. T: Great milk stout with cold brewed coffee added, representing the Portland area well. F: Medium to heavier bodied. O: Would definitely get this special release again.

Feb 11, 2017
3.56 by duvel1979 from District of Columbia on Feb 09, 2017
Photo of TBoneJones
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by TBoneJones from Texas

Now what's wrong with THIS? A perfect blend of roasted coffee bitterness working in utter harmony with creamy lactose in a milk stout that finishes incredibly smooth and clean.
I can't say enough about coffee use here and the balance with the milk sugar. Darker chocolate roastiness is in there, as well as some milky earth, if that's even a thing.
Sweet just right. Coffee just right.
I'm only sorry I ignored this one on store shelves until now.

Feb 03, 2017
3.83 by IRONRakkasan from California on Jan 16, 2017
4.25 by crob3888 from California on Jan 15, 2017
3.89 by StoutSnob40 from California on Jan 11, 2017
Photo of snaotheus
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by snaotheus from Washington

22oz bottle served in a large snifter. I don't see a date on it.

Pours dark brown with a smallish off-white head, lots of carbonation. Smell is coffee, not much else, fairly mild.

Taste is coffee, lots of bitterness, roasty malt. Actually tastes kind of light.

Mouthfeel is thin. Overall, it's not bad.

Jan 08, 2017
Photo of ocelot2500
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by ocelot2500 from Maryland

Pours a deep ebony color with a tight, khaki head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of the coffee mostly with a bit of sweetness.

Tastes of the coffee with some lactose. Coffee leads off before some lactose sweetness adds in. This gives way to a bit of roasted bitterness. Some chocolate and cocoa comes towards the end. Finishes with a bit of creamy sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a pretty good milk stout and the coffee fits pretty well.

Jan 02, 2017
4.1 by WDJersey from Colorado on Jan 01, 2017
3.69 by Mongrel from Maryland on Dec 21, 2016
Photo of mkh012
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by mkh012 from Colorado

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

Deep black with a finger of light brown head.

Nose and taste are cold brew coffee offset by hints of dark fruit and chocolate. Taste is more bitter than I was expecting. Flirting with astringent but drinkable enough.

Mouthfeel is medium. Could be a little softer and smoother.

Overall, not bad but not one I'd seek out again. Rough around the edges.

EDIT: Second bottle, and I like this more with a few months of age on it. More mellow and smooth. The lactose is nice. Not as bitter as I remember. Upping feel and overall to 4.

Dec 17, 2016
3.5 by mmilyko from Nevada on Dec 17, 2016
Photo of anon
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by anon from California

Pours an opaque near-black hue, head standing a half-inch, dissipating to nothing. Minimal lace as well.

Smell is sweet milk chocolate and lactose with some underlying coffee and malt roast. Taste ups the ante a bit and having slightly warmed, opens up the complexities. Milk chocolate, lactose and cream hit first, followed by a blast of freshly roasted coffee beans and roasty malts. Charred wood, earthiness, toffee, baking cocoa.

Finishes on the lighter side of medium with a dryness from the deep roastiness and cocoa. Just a touch of sweetness and sourness from the lactose. Balanced quite well. Wouldn't mind having another of these. Not bad for the price tag.

Nov 29, 2016
Photo of danasofia
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by danasofia from California

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Look - opaque black with more of a brown tone when held to light, 1-finger beige/cocoa head that dissipates quickly and leaves a large lacing.

Smell - bitter cocoa, coffee, sweet overall.

Taste - Refreshing and sweet milk chocolate flavors (a shift from the smell) at first followed by a deep, acrid coffee flavor that really lingers. Very subtle leafy and grapefruity hop flavors throughout.

Feel - This is a smooth and light-bodied stout with very big flavors that give it a unique profile. Heavy viscous flavors are aided very nicely by the creamy texture.

Overall - Solid 4, it delivers a standard stout profile but gives a novel twist in the incredibly successful milk chocolate taste improved by a solid texture.

Nov 28, 2016
3.5 by Rick778 from California on Nov 28, 2016
4 by Boone757 from Virginia on Nov 21, 2016
Photo of jwc215
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by jwc215 from Arizona

22 oz. bottle:

Pours black with a lasting creamy light tan head. Generous amount of lacing sticks.

The smell is of rich, robust deep-roasted coffee, milk chocolate with subtle dark spicy bread. Robust.

The taste of rich coffee stands out but doesn't make it one-dimensional. Lactose adds sweetness and a touch of sour to balance the roast, so the finish is not really roasty but balanced. Chocolate and dark earthy notes come through. Alcohol is well-hidden.

It has a creamy, smooth body that hits full-bodied. Carbonation level fits it wonderfully.

This shows that when great coffee meets with a great milk stout a great thing happens. This is a real treat!

Paid about $6 for the bomber at Safeway in (west) Bremerton, Washington.

Nov 02, 2016
Photo of CHickman
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by CHickman from New York

Pours black color that looks mahogany brown where light hits the edge of the glass. Head was 1-2 fingers thick of creamy tan goodness that was packed with tiny bubbles and faded slowly, leaving excellent sticky lacing and foamy rings as it went down.

Smells of fresh roasted coffee, dark chocolate, burnt grains, cocoa powder, ground coffee beans, charred wood, piney hops, and lactose notes. Dark fruit, light herbs or peppery spices and faint vanilla trail the first round of the aroma, making this complex and pretty nicely balanced for a coffee milk stout. Cold brewed coffee from Stumptown always smells good to me, so I'm glad the beer they built around this was a success on the aroma front.

Tastes of cocoa powder, dark chocolate, espresso and burnt coffee to start, followed by dark fruit, lightly charred wood, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, coffee grinds, heavy cream, Cocoa Puffs that have been sitting in milk a long time, fresh zesty piney hops, herbs or weed, black licorice and that distinctive lactose taste which is like a chocolate milk. It hit all the right notes for me with the bitterness and sweetness wrestling for attention, allowing the coffee to show off and sync up with the roasted chocolate malts which create a sweetness that is nice for a roasted stout yet still soft and milky sweet.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and thin as most milk stouts tend to be, with mild carbonation, a light to medium body, and then a display of strong bitterness due to the potent coffee presence and hops used in the mix. The sweetness and roasted characters balance each other out and let the chocolate malts and coffee finish and fade with a nice sweet end. Overall a very tasty milk stout, I'd definitely have it again.

Oct 26, 2016
4.25 by sansho from California on Oct 01, 2016
4 by mpenske from California on Sep 04, 2016
4.1 by kjkinsey from Texas on Aug 02, 2016
4.05 by Jkolls from Ohio on Jul 25, 2016
4.1 by zotzot from Vermont on Jul 23, 2016
Noir from Ninkasi Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 158 ratings