Total Domination IPA | Ninkasi Brewing Company

377 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ninkasi website:
"6.7% alc./vol. 65 ibus. Always available in 22 oz bottles, and on draft."

Added by grumpy on 08-23-2006

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Reviews: 377 | Ratings: 1,459
Photo of bk2311
5/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Total Domination is by far one of my favorite beers, it smells and tastes amazing. Total domination was the first IPA I had tried and it completely changed how I look at beer in general now. I have now tried many IPA's but this is truly the best yet.

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Photo of ezra_shroomer
5/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite brew ive had hands down. Ninkasi does a great job and their TD IPA is my go to drink for a good night. Love love love. Keep the wonderful brews coming (:

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.74/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cracker, toffee malts and a huge floral pine dominant the nose. I love this beer! It totally reminds me of if Samuel Adams Boston Lager took their recipe and added American hops to make it an IPA. It even smells very similar to it now that I give it a bit more of a smell. Sweet toffee malts take over the first half of the taste and then ending in a floral piney bitterness that lingers and grows the more you drink it. So if you are a fan of Boston lager and wanted to know what it'd taste like with American hops give this beer a try.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.65/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This poured a beautiful, hazy deep orange in color with a gorgeous head that left some nice lacing on the inside of my glass.

Smell - This is an excellent mix of hop aromas. First off, the pine is as sharp as I've ever smelled but somehow manages to harmonize with the rest of the other hops. The citrus is a mix of mild white grapefruit and the smell you get from a tangerine minus the orange flavor. That may sound contradictory but when you smell a tangerine you get the big orange aroma of course but then you get an earthy smell from the rind and the pulp and that is what I'm finding here. It's kind of vegetable-green as well.

I feel for the poor malt base that can't some close to standing its own here, but hell this is a PacNW IPA so f' ya. This hop bouquet though is incredibly inviting and really just sets the stage for what must be an amazing flavor profile.

Taste - This delivers in spades at the taste. The hops are so refined and so succinct they define the "crispness" comment you see written so often in IPA reviews. I've had a lot of big pine resin beers before but this characteristic is so clean and fresh it's like the difference between eating frozen green beans and picking them off the vine. The other players from the nose come on righteously at the taste so don't mean to ignore those flavors but the pine in this profile is just phenomenal.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied, again very crisp, with a sharp bitterness that is both big and pleasant. The continuity is incredible as it just starts off sharp, threatens an overpowering bitter mallet, then maintains its cool, and finishes with a flourish of sensations never once offending the drinker.

Drinkability - This is my idea of a killer sipping IPA. I actually had the DIPA by Kinsaki first and was grandly disappointed and am now confused. How could you produce an amazing IPA like this then struggle so mightily with the DIPA? Either way, I'll certainly be buying the rest of the BevMo stock of this ale come the weekend.

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Photo of russpowell
4.59/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from bottletrek

Pours honey/amber with 1 finger of ivory colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Slight honey malt, then a ton of citric hops. Biscuitty malt shines once warm

T: Citrussy hops, biscuitty malt & pineapple fruittyness up front. Apricot fruittyness along with piney & grapefruitty hops as this warms. finishes a touch dry, fruitty & hoppy

MF: Medium bodied with nice creamy softness, & great balance

This drinks very easy, what I look for in a session IPA, enough hops to hold your attention, but not rip your taste buds out. A damn good AIPA, probably too tame (balanced) for most hopheads

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Photo of BeerZack
4.54/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful golden-orange color with bubbly head that sticks awhile.

Sweet topical fruity hop smells; apricot, tangerine, bit of dank.

Intense tropical and citrus fruit hop flavors jump out of the light buscuity malt. Kiwi, starfruit, mild orange. Persisten bitter finish.

Nice soft carbonation with light-moderate mouthfeel. Great IPA! very bitter, very tasty.

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy amber orange. Has the characteristics of blue moon but this is an IPA. Very little head with an extremely sticky lace. Talk about a hop bomb. I literally smelled the hops before the pint was put in front of me. Huge hops smell, some grapefruit, more hops and more hops. Tastes like...HOPS, lots of grapefruit, bitter bite of rind, piney, fresh grass. Finishes dry and bitterness to perfection.This brew is a gem and reps Oregon big time. If you ever get a chance to try this jump all over it and enjoy one of the best IPAs youve ever had. Mouthfeel is incredible, full, perfect carbonation. Even though this thing packs a massive punch, the drinkability is scary good. Will make a point to get this everytime I come back.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.48/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recommended by a guy at the SLO BevMo. Poured into a .5L stein.

A: Almost 3 fingers frothy ivory head over lightly hazed amber. Nice bursts of orange at the edges. The retention on this beer is seismic...and there's some really great lacing gracing my stein. What a gorgeous beer!
S: Huge pine and floral hops. Nice light citrus balanced out by a toasted caramel malt. Dark fruits in there, too.
T: Mmm...the first thing I notice here is the balance. The explosion of hops (definitely West Coast with the grapefruit bitter backdrop and an emphasis on the pine). The floral on the hops is heavy, but still there's that balance. The toasted biscuit and caramel malt keep the hops in check while still allowing the juicy hops to engulf every taste bud and corner of my mouth.
M: Light to medium with a good amount of carbonation for the style.
D and notes: This is an IPA I can drink all day. I look forward to trying more from this brewery, especially if the beers are anywhere near as close to their respective styles as this one is.

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Photo of cbros
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type- 22 ounce bomber poured into a mug.

A- Pours an orange straw yellow. Nice small lite tan head that has a mild cling to the glass. There is a small amount of activity present in the beer after the pour.

S- Strong hints of citrus and hops smell when you put the beer up to your nose. I little alcohol smell present at the end but nothing that you would notice unless you where really smelling or putting your nose right up to the beer.

T- Beautiful combination of hops, citrus(maybe grapefruit and orange) and bitterness. NIce malty finish but not overpowering.

I had this beer while in Eugene a few months back and did not get to review it at the time. I finally broke down and ordered a few off Bottletrek. It is as good as a remember. A very nice IPA that I feel does not get as much credit as it deserves. In fact everything that I have had from Ninkasi has been solid. If this were available to be I would certainly get this on a regular basis. It would definately become a staple of mine.

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Photo of Norfawkers
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not your run-of-the-mill IPA for sure but hang in there and taste the interesting blend of earthy, piney, hoppy goodness

Appearance: Cloudy golden with a light head

Smell: Piney, earthy, and citrus notes with a slight hint of malt

Taste: Earthy piney hops with some yeast and a bit of funk

Mouthfeel: Long lasting flavor and bitterness

Drinkability: Complex and a sipping beer; it's not as strong as other Ninkasi beers but definitely worth a taste

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Photo of BierJager89
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Light orange color, white head.

S: Satsuma oranges dominate the nose, along with orange, grapefruit and a general citrus aroma.

T: More satsuma, tangerine, orange and grapefruit on a perfect malt backbone. Delicious!

M: Medium bodied, smooth for an IPA.

O: An excellent IPA. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly aggressive pour yields an inch-thick head that calms to half the size rather quickly, leaving wicked lace patterns in its wake. The color is an earthy copper-gold.

Hops positively glow in the aroma, having a sweet honeyed aura and not seeming to have much in the way of big malt presence. It's very hoppy, particularly very Northwest hoppy. If you've ever been there, or have had an abundance of IPAs from the area, you'll know exactly what that means. Citrus/evergreen nirvana...

Big-ass fresh hop attack in the flavor too. Not overdone, far, far from undrinkable, but still an intent focus on resiny, prickly, piney hops. Malt just kind of clocks in and watches the boss entertain, doing its job but not hogging the spotlight. Not a ton of depth here, but toasty and fruity elements add to the experience, although they remain bit players. Surprise, surprise...the finish slathers the tongue with a coat of hops. Mouthfeel is on the sharp side, and with the amount of bubble activity in the body, it's no wonder. Works well with the aggressive nature of the beer.

Bitter beauty. One of the truest examples of the Northwest it out if you're an IPA lover, a hophead, and particularly if you've been to the NW and need a reminder of the region's signature beer style. If you already live there: lucky bastards! [And many thanks to lucky bastard msubulldog25 for hooking this up.]

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Photo of jwc215
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orangeish light copper with a thin lasting white head that leaves strands of lacing.

The smell is of a complex hop aroma - grapefruit, orange/lemon, tea-leaf, cedar/pine and peppery spicing.

There is a near hop explosion on the palate. Yet, bitterness is held in check by an elusive in flavor, yet present malt sweetness rounding it out in the finish. Not of citric/tropical fruits - orange, lemon, grapefruit, mango - with black pepper, tea-leaf and pine all coming together nicely. Delicious hop taste, and bitter but not puckering due to a light but present sweetness.

Very smooth. Ample,not nearly fizzy, carbonation makes this one glide away. Alcohol is well-covered and this just seems to disappear "too" quickly. Very drinkable and enjoyable! A great American IPA!

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful pour in an orange body with a head of super pale tan starting out a 2 inches and fading ever so slowly. The truth can be found in the lacing... I bet this is gonna be some sticky stuff!

S - Strong hops in a citrus form with an accent of pine. It has to be consumed. This is a fantastic aroma.

T - This is a unique IPA. It has a charcoal flavor I'm not used to in any hoppy brews. The hop flavor is very good consisting of citrus and tall grass. The bitterness is evident but by no means overwhelming. The flavors are really, really good together.

M - The feel is smooth at the beginning and then moves to mildly coarse as it nears the end. This assists in bringing out some of the unique flavors in the hops. My only issue here is that it's not quite as sticky as be I had anticipated.

~ This is a very good beer. I will definitely be on the lookout for this brew in the future. The only downfall is that I live in Wisconsin and this dominatrix isn't available here. Perhaps I'll have to take another trip to Oregon, hopefully sooner than later.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The total domination is a damn fine brew. It poured a light orange color with a solid finger foam head and some snowflake lacing.

The aroma is Northwest hops in your face. Nice cascade aromas. Smell some citrus and pine. The flavor is an initial balanced hop/malt profile that is soon annihilated by the hops. The finish of the beer is leaving you the tongue coated loveliness of the hops. My mouth was totally dominated by this IPA and with the DIPA they produce I think they are on their way to the namesake. Wonderful American IPA.

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Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a firm whipped egg white head; terrific structure to the lacing

Smell: A bit understated, but fairly balanced, with some biscuity malt and "C" hops

Taste: Starts out biscuity but after a few seconds, the lemon and grapefruit flavors arrive; citrusy after the swallow, but balanced throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Clearly on the APA side of an IPA, this is a quite enjoyable beer if you like a balanced approach to an IPA; not totally dominating by any stretch, but still quite tasty to my palate

Thanks, riversideAK (from the other site), for the opportunity

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Photo of RickS95
4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden color, hazy; lots of bubbles form a thick fluffy white head.

Great smell...floral hops and citrus dominate.

Best-tasting IPA I've ever had. Instead of being completely overwhelmed by hops, the citrus is prevalent as well and helps balance the flavor.

Lots going on in the mouth. Starts off sweet, due to the citrus; then bitter from the hops kicks in and stays well into the finish.

This is really a top notch beer. Looks and smells great, taste is very complex being both sweet and bitter and it packs a 7.0% ABV punch.

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Photo of industrialswill
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I picked up a 22ozer at RiteAid for $3.79. I originally came in to get a 12 pack of Schmidt, but they were out.
So, this bottle of "Yuppie beer" is my consolation prize.
No sense in me re-hashing what's already been so very well said about this stuff. I think it's just about as good as Sierra Nevada Torpedo. This is excellent beer and I would buy it again.

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Photo of paigertx
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger, poured a taste because I had never heard of the brewery and had to get a pint. The hop aroma won me over then the maltlessness(all hop) sealed the deal as I was craving a clean hop with no sweet taste. M - a little chalky aftertaste but smooths over quickly. Packs a punch with abv which might be closer to 7.2% IMO. Wow, very drinkable considering that, but wouldn't want to stay this bitter nor is it sessionable. Definitely order this if you find it on tap.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this back from my trip to the Northwest.

An interesting dark copper/amber color with a decent amount of visible carbonation. Finger and half of foamy white head that shows decent retention. Light lacing.

The aroma is fantastic Very bread like, orange notes.. other lighter citrus and slightly sweet.

This is a wonderful IPA. Initially gives you a sense of balance, then the lingering hops slap you in the face and remind you that this is a big IPA. Initial brown sugar sweetness immediately gives way to lots of fruit flavors and then a ton of bread flavors. Some bitter grapefruit flavors and then the long slow burn of glorious hop bitterness.

Medium/Light body, light prickle of carbonation. Oily.

Wonderfully drinkable. Wish I had brought back a 2nd bottle of this one. I will have it again on my next trip out west.

Excellent. Just love bready, fresh, bitter IPA's.

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Photo of Strat58cat
4.31/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No unicorns were injured in the production of this ale. They deny this is unicorn milk. Anyway, that's what they claim. This is a great IPA in my humble opinion. It is a no-compromise, elite-quality effort to create a delicious, aromatic, balanced ale. Reviewers are going to extremes, forgetting that the essence of enjoyment is balance, not extreme bitterness, pine or fruit for its own sake. Top rated Union Jack is an ester laden fruit bomb, lacking the balance of Firestone wines. Delicious Sierra Nevada - great as it is - is a pine bomb. Yes, it's like drinking a pine meadow, and one of the best. Total Domination, in contrast, is balance incarnate. Pine notes, fruit notes, bitterness, malt in balance and harmony. This ale is good!

The weakness with the ale is that the aroma dissipates. It's great at first but weakens. Stone kills the aroma all the way to the bottom of the glass, and yes Stone is more bitter. Even relatively inexpensive and 45 IBU Rebel, though, (once decanted and thoroughly vented to eliminate the excess of pine when the bottle is cracked open) keeps its bouquet to the bottom of the glass.

Without extensive dry-hopping, Ninkasi's balance is coming at the price of a somewhat subdued aroma. Still, Total Domination's a great IPA.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle that I picked up for $3.99 at Market of Choice in Ashland, Oregon, this poured a hazy orange with a light yellow head and sticky lacing. Very powerful citrus hops nose, with pine and floral hops backing it up. Good mouthfeel. Really great flavors with a wonderful long and bitter finish. A really great IPA.

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Photo of Nichol
4.29/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is going to be vague because I'm only reviewing this one so I can remember it later. I only had one that I brought back home from Oregon (I now regret only having one brought back and need to get more somehow). Beautiful shade of amber, nice lacing head. Strong hops right off the top and pleasantly dry mouthfeel. This is a good winter/fall beer, I think. Full flavor and leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy. Must find again.

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Photo of FreeBeer_Score99
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ideal place for this beer: after a tenacious day of work in the PNW, you buy this stupendous beer at any quiky mart on your way home. While drinking/decompressing you feel privileged that this beer is abundant in your area (the same reason this beer is heavily under-rated (seriously under-rated)).

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Photo of Kuaff
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cellar-like temperature, in my tulip.

Appearance is clear orange-amber with a two-cm cap of just off white foam which remains for a while and leaves some lovely lacing.

The aroma is fairly faint, but what I get is mostly pine, with a little orange and honey.

Now that's a very well-rounded flavor profile. Sweet yet tart citrus, then pine needles, and a drawn-out finish of sweet bread or biscuits. I feel the bitter astringency lingering more a good minute or two after a sip.

The feel is medium, and the carbonation is moderate, feeling just right.

A nice specimen here. Exhibits sufficient balance and bitterness.

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Total Domination IPA from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 1,459 ratings.
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