Total Domination IPA | Ninkasi Brewing Company

378 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: 378 | Ratings: 1,466
Photo of Boomshalakalakaboom
1/5  rDev -72.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is horrible. This is not an IPA! It tastes like it's a wheat beer. I'm returning it because it's not what it says it is. I hate wheat beer and I hate this beer. I love hoppy IPAs and this is pure false advertising. Going to the store to return it. I signed up for a BA account just to warn others about this beer. Utterly undrinkable.

Poured it down the drain, and I don't do that very often.

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Photo of harrymel
1.54/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottled: unk

A: copper with near excellent clarity. under a finger of white foam falls to a thick sheet of the same leaving near cobweb lace.
S: Smells of old, english malts. Pretty sure this is old, but based on the fact that no bottle date is present, I will assume this is how they intended it should be. This is a poor presentation.
T: Tastes of bittered malts and some crystal tones. Nothing else really.
M: thin to medium bodied with hi carb. A semi dry finish.
O: This beer is shit. Maybe it's a bad bottle, or an old bottle, hard to say provided this information is not important enough to include on the label.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.9/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Re-review off a bottle purchased at BevMo Mountain View. No bottling date. I'm assuming this is fresh.

[First review: 3.0 / 4.0 / 4.0 / 3.5 / 3.0 (B+)]

A: Pours a hazy copper / orange / gold with a small off-white head that quickly recedes into a film on the glass. The film remains throughout the drink, generously refreshed with active carbonation. No lace.

S: This doesn't have that pungent fruit aroma I remember. Grapefruit, maybe some pineapple, but it's malty and biscuity.

T: Grapefruit, a touch of pineapple, pine. And yet, it's weak and watery in flavor, more malty than hop-forward, and altogether unsatisfying.

M: Weak, watery flavor. I had this right after a Lagunitas IPA, and I was troubled by how disappointingly thin-bodied this beer was in comparison. It just doesn't measure up.

D: This was terrible; I can't figure out if Ninkasi changed their recipe or if this is an old bottle, but it doesn't have any of the characteristics I remember.

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Photo of adsomers
2.12/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My region just started getting Ninkasi so I was pleased to try this very reasonably priced IPA (3.99 for a bomber). I rarely see freshness issues at Whole Foods but who knows. I'll sample this on draft next time I see it just to be *sure* I've reviewed a fresh product. With that said....

A - Clear light copper color. Nice head

S - Lacking any substantial hop aroma. Grainy, a little skunky

T - Mostly bland beery taste, excessively bitter. Not getting any of the west coast hop-forward flavors.

M - Just bone dry and bitter.

D - One could drink this, but it wasn't worth it to me, so I poured it out.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.13/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Finger white head. Red-Orange color. Nice looking.

S- Hoppy and wheat smells. Not complex.

T- Bitter all the way down. Bittering hops crush any semblance of a balanced beer.

M- Medium bodied and heavily carbonated. Punch in the mouth.

O- Way too hoppy. It crushes my taste buds.

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Photo of OaktownFunk
2.16/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle poured into imperial pint glass

A - Brilliantly clear Amber poured with fluffy white head, good lacing and head retention.

S - Biscuity, toffee like aroma. Where o' where have the hops gone? Getting almost zero hop aroma. There is also a very slight skunky/musky smell in there.

T - I get a lot of bittering hop characteristic, but no flavor hop evident. VERY malt forward for an IPA. It is not overly sweet, but definitely leaning to the sweet side of things.

M - Medium bodied beer with good carbonation level. Flavor lingers on the palette.

O - Not my favorite IPA to say the least and very surprising considering the reputation of the brewery. I am hoping that my bottle was just old or not handled properly (thanks BevMo!) and the hops had dropped out. I would be willing to give it another chance if I could get my hands on a fresh sample.

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Photo of ne0m00re
2.27/5  rDev -38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Live review of a 22 oz bottle.
A: Cloudy amber, it poured with a big fluffy, sticky white head with lacing. If it wasn't cloudy, this would have been a 5.
S: Straw and bananas (like too high of fermentation temperature), slightly grassy and green hops, rye and pumpernickel bread. The hops aren't very strong considering this is an IPA. This kind of smells like they were going for a Belgian IPA and couldn't control the yeast.
T: Straw and pumpernnickel bread, some banana, vodka alcohol and an awkward bitterness on the finish that is not resinous but more herbal. Imagine a Belgian pale ale with an awkward increased bitterness.
M: Thinner than I'd like, with a low carbonation feel that doesn't suit the beer.
O: I wouldn't recommend this, or buy it again.

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Photo of DT509er
2.31/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Too citrusy and sweet for me. The taste, flavor and flow of this beer taste better when consumed from the bottle, no beer-glass/pint needed. After this 6-pack, I'll find something else for myself.

Like The Bro's say, "Okay"..but thats about it for this IPA.

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Photo of souvenirs
2.46/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured from a 650 ml bottle. I haven't really enjoyed the other beers I've tried so far from Ninkasi, so I'm not expecting to love this one, but hopefully it'll be a decent IPA.

A: honey colour, pretty cloudy, a couple fingers of head with decent retention.

S: There's something definitely unappealing about this. Dank and a bit musky, with a slight hint of tropical fruit. To be honest, and I feel like an asshole for saying this, the smell reminds me a little bit of cat urine.

T: Fortunately, the taste is better than the smell! But not that much. Yeast, intense piney/grassy bitterness, the end.

F: Average.

O: I would never buy anything from Ninkasi again. I might end up pouring this one down the drain.

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Photo of DrJay
2.52/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Hazy orange/yellow with a dense beige cap that left a lot of staky/clumpy lacing on the glass. The aroma was fairly nondescript, a little grain and a hint of lemony hops, some pale malt. The flavour was better, but still lackluster. Moderate bitterness, grainy malt sweetness, a little citrus. Nice texture though, medium bodied with very creamy carbonation. Total Domination is a bold name for an IPA, and one that this beer just didn't live up to. It requires a substantial increase in hop content to even get close to living up to its name.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.59/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this one in Buffalo during GABER 2015. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-looser, foamy white head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a good cap with foamy lacing. Hazy amber orange in color with no carbonation. A splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving some chunky lacing down the glass. A little too loose and foamy here.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, pineapple, melon, passion fruit and light lemon citrus on the nose. Bold enough and characterful.

TASTE: Passion fruit, melon and caramel up front. A little grainy at the swallow, with a bolder and lingering finish of grainy malts, hop bitterness and light melon flavors. Quite bitter and grainy for sure, without the advertised character of the nose. Grainy and bitter.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a touch dry. Bitterness lingers.

OVERALL: This is really grainy and bitter. Pretty simple without much of the fruity character that makes this style so wonderful. The nose had some of the right stuff going on, but the flavor just lost it. Not a good example of the style and yet another disappointing Ninkasi IPA.

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Photo of crowsoup
2.62/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours with promise, a good head on its shoulders - I felt hope for a moment. I was under the impression that I might be able to lay back into the foam, rest on the lacing, point my nose to the ceiling and call it a day. I had the wrong impression. The carbonation faded in the blink of an eye and the nose knows nothing. A slight hint of stale, flat air and nothing more. The only saving grace here was the actual appearance of a good IPA, which only counts on camera, and since nobody was filming me drink it, that didn't really matter. Oh well, at least at 6.7% ABV I got a nice, end of the day there's that.

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Photo of BeerTwigs
2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served from a bomber into an imperial pint glass. I had to go through two pours to get a real nose out of this beer. It has an apricot aroma followed by a sweetness. The pours hazy with an amber color, not very clear. The bottle claims to be "balanced perfection" but I would say otherwise. I hope its because I am on the east cost and it has lost its hop appeal. No real bitter aroma or taste. This beer is medium body with a malty taste. It ends but being a below average beer and I would expect a lot more for the description they give this beer. I wouldnt suggest it... from a bottle anyway

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Photo of chugalug06
2.64/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A - Pour is strong with nice ability to build and hold a white foamy head. Brew is orangish with red and yellow hues. Nice lacing too.

S - TONS of light grapefruit. Slight minty scent too. Maybe a little funk. Grassy.

T - Hum. Not your typical IPA... Hop balance is off, there's a slight burn to the hops in this one. Way too much citrus fruity flavor for my palate. Thin, underwhelming.

M - Lots of dry bitterness. Light bodied with perfect carbonation. Thin.

O - Decent brew. Not my favorite, but not my least. Thanks for the extra djeucalyptus.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.65/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

08/11/07- Had at the Bistro IPA Fest.

Presentation- Via the tap into taster glasses.

Appearance- Lighter golden-orange colored pour. Very creamy looking head and excellent lace sheeting.

Smell- Light urine scent, otherwise fruity with grapefruit and lemonly scents. Odd off scent for sure.

Taste- Very bitter and hoppy. Tastes more like a one hop beer than 5 hops. Watery as well. Really no malt to be had here.

Mouthfeel- As stated above, fairly watery with a medium carbonation level. Bitter unappealing hop aftertaste.

Drinkability- The least favorite of all the beers I had at the fest. Doesn't have much flavor and is unbalanced. Looks good though.


 688 characters

Photo of Rob23
2.7/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

2.75 out of 5.I expected a bit more but all in all not terrible.Slightly too bitter without any sweetness to back it up.Pours great and looks good.Some kind of odd smell that didn't appeal to me.Not sure if I will try this again.Maybe if it is on tap.I will try their others if I see them though.

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Photo of billshmeinke
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

Finger and a half rocky head from a semi hard pour. Golden/amber color with a bit of hop haze. Retention is excellent, and nice lacing is left behind.

Smells mostly of barley. Pretty much just a dry barley fragrance, no sweetness, no hops really to speak of.

Taste is similar. Mostly just barley. Resin bitterness as well, but that's about it. Maybe a bit of pine as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation on the higher end of medium. A really nice fluffy creaminess as well.

I wouldn't really want to drink anymore of this. It is barely an IPA. More like a bitter and strong pale ale. Pretty disappointing. Note to Ninkasi Brewing: STEP YOUR GAME UP!

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Photo of Cavanaghty
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy orange with a thin white head.

Smell: Surprisingly almost no smell. Slight hops is about it.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of bitter hops and pine notes.

Overall: Not bad, I have had better IPAs. But it was a free sample!

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Photo of katybee
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

poured deep golden yellow, with quickly disipating head of creamy foam.

smelled very lightly of citrusy hops.

emphasis on a citrus hop experience, but towards grapefruit, and only mildly, compared to double or imperial IPA styles. Only lightly malty. Somewhat one-dimensional, but pleasant enough and more flavorful than an average American lager.

light to medium bodied; clear, not creamy.

An average beer; nothing objectionable, but not really memorable.

 461 characters

Photo of Kegatron
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap @ the Ninkasi Brewing Company (Eugene, OR) on 9/2/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with a ½ finger of bright-white froth. This doesn’t lose a whole lot, retaining with about a ¼ finger or so and slathering the sides of the glass with some rich and sticky lacing. The aroma smells leafy and herbal in the nose, which is layered on top of an underlying mix of bitter citrus and sweet grains that combine to give off a ripe and earthy feeling twang in the nostrils.

Bitter citrus drives the taste with some force, also spreading some herbal textures out in the mouth. The finish is dry and lightly spicy. A sweet and toasty graininess brings the bulk of the sweetness to this but there is also a bit too much of a light darkness to the malts as well that throws this off a bit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a initial sharpness on the tongue, yet this smoothes out a bit more into a creamy crispness as this stars to move around in the mouth. Alcohol is well hid for almost 8%, with this just having some fullness to the body but that’s about it.

I had this one in the bottle a couple of years ago and remember really enjoying this.
Unfortunately, this pint here at the brewery just wasn’t quite as a robust and flavorful as I remembered for that experience. I don’t want to really comment on the quality of their beer here as they continue to expand and get bigger but I will say that this beer fell far short of what I remember from 2 years ago.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.89/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Had this on tap while at the Seattle Mariners game. I was expecting something great here and couldn’t have been more disappointed. Pours a clear golden with a large fluffy white head on top, creamy looking. Aroma is muted, with some light citrus and pine, meager bready malt in the background. Taste follows with a watered down grass hop flavor, not much punch, not a lot of malt backbone. The flavor is really lacking. I guess it's light bodied and easy to drink with medium high carbonation, but that's about all this has going for it. Not any complexity in the flavor. Bleh, just not impressive.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

Quick to foam from a moderate pouring, the epic-sized head dissipates real slow. Amber golden color is completely hazed over. Grapefruit rind, taffy and walnut skin in the nose ... lots of hops, but the yeast shakes things up. Slick medium body, carbonation goes from massive head to nearly nothing. Bitterness is borderline astringent though a toffee flavor and ester alcohol distract the palate enough to produce a disjointed balance. Yeasty and fruity in the middle with a plainly bitter finish. Unfortunately, the yeast dominates a bit too much here--you can taste the potential if the yeast was tapered back.

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Photo of jhutch31
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I heard a lot about this brewing company so I bought a four pack of their beers. Tried total domination. Poured in a pint glass out of a 22.

Appearance: beer poured a dark amber for an IPA. Some chill haze with a small white head that quickly dissipated leaving moderate lacing.

Smell: very floral/piney smell. I couldn't detect any citrus aroma that usually accompanies IPA's

Taste: very bitter with not much hop flavor. The malt backbone was strong with bready/biscuity notes. Piney and floral.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied mouthfeel.

Overall: I was a little disappointed with this beer. I think had it not been hyped so much than I wouldn't have been so let down. All and all, it's a decent beer, just not my type of IPA.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Bottle purchased from Bring On The Beer.

A- pours a clear bright 24k gold with a 2 finger head of foam, does well with the lacing.

S- strong piney nose mixed with that;s almost like a floor wax aroma. I can tell this is going to be bitter but in a good way or a bad way?

T- very piney bitter on first sip with no sign of any balancing malt. The more I sip, the more the pine off shoots to an aspirin bitterness. Again, no sign of any malt and that could have been a saving grace. Long lasting, on the nasty side, bitterness ensues. Oh my.

M- good body and carbonation so no complaints there.

O- Not at all an IPA that suits my fancy. Bitter for bitter's sake? Me thinks so. No.

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Photo of Modernrickk
2.93/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Purchased a single of this beer - right off the first couple of sips I'm glad it's only one bottle -

First things first the name total domination is awesome reminds me of the UFC -

Pours a sweet orange color. Looking through the glass is like being underwater.

I enjoyed this beer out of my favorite tulip. I really wanted to get a good whiff of this beer but there was hardly any smells coming out of it .. Maybe a little nuttiness combined with bland malts

First sip was real cold, masking a bunch of my favorite IPA features.
Taste is a ton of lite malts - kinda like the taste you get after chugging bud light
Very watery . Hops sneak in the back door a little too late making the after taste real bitter

Swirling a bit and sippin right after provides a somewhat rewarding mouthfeel - crisp but not over carbonated

Overall there's no way I can see myself purchasing this again - not out here in the land of the IPAs

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Total Domination IPA from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 1,466 ratings.
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