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 bret27
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

courtesy of guy411

S: Lemons, perhaps the smell of hops that are a bit old?

A: Dark yellow, a little cloudy

T: Citrus, fruity, lemons, pine. Sweet and bitter grassy finish.

M/D: Med. Fairly smooth. Bitter grassy finish.

Overall: Ninkasi seems to get a lot of Oregon hype, but I've yet to see them really excite me yet. I think they're Alpine wanna-be's.

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Photo of illidurit
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy Guy411. Chill hazed dark gold with a light beige wet filmy head. Aroma is grapefruity PNW hops basically. Flavor is piney and citrusy hops, somewhat muted, with a layered pale malty backbone. Pretty decent bitterness but this needs a rerate with a fresh bottle.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a bright, translucent pumpkin orange with a 2 finger eggshell white head that was very well lasting. Visible carbonation was a mixture composed of lazily rising micro-bubbles followed by a random sense of macro-bubbles that were fewer and far between rising at a rapid rate. There was a nice medium haze to the appearance while the head left thick foamy bands behind for a lacing.

S: Sweet tangerines and fresh grapefruit pulp are first detected on the nose with a medium sense of strength. Strong notes of sticky pine sap also contribute to the hoppiness which finished off with citrusy flower notes. Overall a generally good nose.

T: The initial flavor was malty and dry, heavily laced with dried oranges/tangerines along with dried grapefruit delivering a strong sense of bitterness. A dry flowery citrus bite concludes the hops contrubtion for a finish. The hops really come through upon the swallow coating the tongue with an assault of dried grapefruit and pine that parches the tongue. Amply hopped and not for the novice ipa drinker. Things conclude with a warming alcohol combined with lemon peels making for an edgy and bittering finale. Hops, hops and more hops totally dominate the flavor but this also showed a very good malt backbone complimenting the drink and rounding things out nicely.

M: swells up nicely in the mouth, with a good creaminess and medium body. The swallow finds a drying of citrus flowerys parching the tongue. Just let this sit in the mouth for a few seconds to get a good appreciation to see what I mean.

D: Decent drinkability, delivers hops, hops and more hops with even the most experienced ipa drinkers are sure to feel a good beating on the tongue after consuming a bomber by one's self.

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Photo of ghebel
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from an internet supplier. Arrived in good condition and drank at cellar temp.

A - Pours hazy orange. Good head with lots of lacing. Dissipates to a thin, light yellow ring that endures the entire drink.

S - Earthy and citrus. Caramel malt.

T - Nice balance of bitterness, hops, and malt. Sweet caramel. Slight alcohol sensation.

M - Biting carbonation initially. Warm in throat. Smooth malty finish.

D - Very drinkable.

Good IPA. Nice balance between malts and hops. Bitterness will satisfy that hoppy craving, but not over powering.

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Photo of macktbone
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Given as a gift from the brewers during a pouring event in San Francisco. It deserves a review, thanks guys.

A- Nice initial lacing on a small but fruitfull head. Gold, unfiltered appearance that holds promise.

S- Sweet and floral a malty backbone with a spice edge.

T- Very "East Coast". The balance between sweet and hops is nice. Aftertaste is leans more toward the fruit than the piney hops.

M- Good thickness while keeping the bite and sharpness needed. Carbonation is perfect, not too much to distract, but enough to keep a bite on the tounge.

D- Highly drinkable, especially if it was more available in this area. I don't know if its Total Domination, but it is a very good example of a balanced IPA. Some may consider this close to a double. I don't know the IBUs but it is a contender.

Really must try if you like heavy IPAs without the oil and extreme aftertaste of the imperials and doubles.

Good Job Ninkasi!!!

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4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazey Golden orange. Small whitish head that gives way to a pool of oils. Thin drippy spider wed laces.

Zesty citrus, Grapefruit, oranges, hoppy floral, and peppery resin. Small toasty background.

Big hops on the taste buds, like a big bite into a grapefruit. With a floral resinous taste beneath the citrus. Somewhat balanced by a bready caramel malt. Resinous piney aftertaste, big bitterness.

Med body, Full taste, smooth, mildly astringent, sticky, oily, a bit dry, with good carbonation.

A great drinkable big IPA that is balanced towards the hops, with great and varied qualities from them. Delicious. Could drink one anytime (although i prefer their Tricerahops, this is also a great IPA).

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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 plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured herbal and grapefruit hops.

Herbal and citric hops dominated the taste, with a secondary grainy malt.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a strong residual hop spice.

Overall a tasty hop driven, spicy IPA. A good example of the northwest style.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Pours hazy, golden/orange, medium head and retention, patchy lacing. SMELL storng citrusy hops up front fade, some boozy heat, bit of caramel maltyness. Has legs. TASTE sweetness from malty base is detectable but sharp grapefruity hops and bitterness define this one. Elements of balance, but the hops dominate. FEEL medium full body, mild warming, dry, lingering bitterness. OVERALL for hopheads, this is easy enought to drink. Strong flavors and aggressive hop profile land this squarely in the pacific northwest hop bomb zone. Non hop heads beware.

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Photo of Stigs
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. one of many great surprises in a trade with JohnGalt1...thanks man!

A - crystal clear dark golden beer with about an inch of big and frothy eggshell colored foam. lacing like crazy already.

S - big nose of sweet citrus hops, dominant sugared grapefruit. small notes of a sweet caramel backbone. smells really nice, only complaint is that it isnt too strong.

T - big bitterness right away, then slightly floral and citrus op flavors take over. solid IPA, without any flashiness.

M - a little thin on the body (bad) but somehow a bit sticky in the mouth (good). carbonation could be toned down a bit.

D - no problems with this one. a good IPA that falls just short of being great. glad to have tried this.

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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 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 Ryan011235
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 10/19/09

A - Deep shade of amber. Kind of murky. 1/2 inch head dissipates quickly leaving patchy bubbles on top. Spotty lacing throughout.

S - Pine & citrus (orange, grapefruit & hints of lemon). Floral notes as well. Sweet & biscuity malt aromas round out the nose. Very nice, overall.

T - Similar to the nose - big hop flavor & a restrained but stable malt backdrop. Pine & floral hops are more prevalent to taste than in the nose, with citrus notes taking a close second seat - some pineapple & grapefruit.

M - Moderate weight & body. Good carbonation that is not at all overbearing. Very mild slickness with a good bit of resiny grit.

D - I'm really liking this one. Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. I'm digging these Ninkasi brews.

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Photo of velosuds
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint glass on tap at a pizza restaurant.

S-Floral hops dominate with a faint malt sweetness in aroma. Very pleasant.

T-Very hoppy, but balanced by a nice malt presence that is faint, but not overly sweet. Bitter up front, but finishes without the taste buds being assaulted. This was quite good.

M-Smooth and well balanced. Nice carbonation level.

D-This went down very easily and I would readily reach for another. Taste improves as it warms.

I wish this were available in 12 oz. bottles by the six pack. Available only on tap or in 22 oz. bombers for $3.99. A good IPA. Taste is very similar to Tricerops DIPA, but much more drinkable. Well done.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see these on AK shelves.

Pours a light orange color with an ever so slight haze. A stark white head rises and retains well leaving good lacing.

Nose is chock full of PNW style hops. Seems like maybe some cascades going on in here? Very floral (as in flowers) and some slight spice in the nose as well.

Hmmm. A tasty beer, thats for sure. The hop presence is definitely interesting though. A big potpourri like presence, with ample (really seems like cascade) hop flavors. The bitterness is fairly subdued however, until the finish rolls around and it comes around a little bit. The finish is not as dry as i would like, but this does make it a bit smoother. Some bitterness and really floral spicy hop presence lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel is right about where you'd want it, a little viscous, but this is on the high end of the abv spectrum for a single IPA so it works. Carbonation is right where it oughta be, if anything its a tiny touch low.

Drinkability is quite solid with this beer. Very sessionable and easy drinking, and would definitely go over well with IPA beginners as the bitterness is pretty well masked, and there is no blatant west coast grapefruit slap in the face. As much as i wish there were, there isn't. haha. A solid beer, and crazy sessionable and flavorful. Just keep in mind, this is not a WC hop bomb, its a balanced PNW IPA. Its still ok anyway thought ;)

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft sample at IBGF Summer 2009.

Poured dark golden color with an average frothy white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate floral and citrus hop and small malt aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy bitter flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

My expectations where met and good addition to fest.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An extra received from pranaferox. Thanks! Consumed on 10/23/2009 and poured into my Moonlight pint glass. I drank this beer on tap quite often during college during my early craft beer days, and have only had the bottled incarnation once. I've had many world class IPAs since those days, so I guess I'll try it with a more mature palate and see how it stacks up.

A hard pour yields a frothy two finger sea foam off-white head crowning a slightly hazy honey gold liquid. The head recedes slowly and leaves regimented lacing patterns on the sides of the glass.

The nose is restrained but it's well balanced and pleasant. There's a nice mixture of grapefruit, orange, lemon, mango, apricot, and pineapple in the nose. No one fruit character is too prominent, but I notice them all at different times. The backbone is biscuity with some caramel, imparting a low level of sweetness. Alcohol is hidden. The beer takes quite a bit coaxing before it opens in the nose, but it's pretty good when it does. Nothing special though. Pretty mild hop profile.

The flavor is immediately bitter at high medium level, and this trend continues throughout. The bitterness is dry. The hops are more piny than fruity in the, but I do get a little grapefruit and orange. Some grainy and biscuity sweetness is evident. Alcohol is well hidden. The finish is very dry with an increased bitter attack on my palate and lingering pine. The level of bitterness is nice, but the beer could use more hop flavor to support the established bitterness. The beer is well carbonated (what more can you ask for) with a dry and sticky mouthfeel.

This is a drinkable IPA with no real standout qualities. This is the first time I've had it in a while, but I remember it having a lot more citrus in the flavor when I was drinking it on tap a few years back. Anyway, it's not going to knock your Timberlands off, but it's a drinkable IPA.

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Photo of cokes
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly smoky amber colored with a sturdy rise of beige suds.
It noses of grapefruit, guava, caramel, grain, honey, and grass.
A solid malt tapestry lays the groundwork. Nutty in parts, grainy in other, lightly honeyed, and a bit toasty. Hops step to the fore, and hammer down citrus in the form of grapefruit and lime juice. Pine tar and grass add bitterness and resinousness. It concludes with a bittered tropical fruit linger, and a desire to a gulp more.
Medium bodied, lowly but steadily carbonated. It may not entirely standout, but it is cetainly enjoyable.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes from my trip to Oregon in June. On tap at Holiday Farm in the McKenzie River valley.

A - Bright golden orange with a thin dirty white head. Random lacing left behind on the glass. Very active carbonation quickly rising to the top.

S - Big citrus nose with lots of grapefruit and a hint of lemon juice. Just a hint of light maltiness in the background.

T - Up front citrusy hop bitterness that does not waver throughout the beer. Lots of grapefruit with hints of pineapple and a little orange. The sweetness lies underneath providing just a hint of balance without ever really getting in the way of things.

M/D - On the lighter side of medium bodied with average carbonation. Very easy drinking if you like your hops (which I must say I do).

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Photo of mjl21
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given. Comes in at 6.7%. Purchased at Bear Creek Beers in Medford, OR for $3.70.

A-Pours a semi-clear amber that has a lot of orange and golden yellow in the light. Has a one finger off white head that reduces to a decent frothy ring and film fairly quickly. There are lots of bubbles rising up the sides. Nice amount of streaky and spotty lacing.

S-Nothing really jumps out on the nose. Get some tropical fruit such as pineapple and mango. As it warms grapefruit becomes stronger.

T-The initial taste is sweet fruit, particularly mango. The sweetness is present throughout. Like the nose, as it warms the grapefruit becomes more prevalent. The finish is all grapefruit with some caramel malt. This sweet and bitter grapefruit taste is present throughout the first half of the bee. After about half of the bottle has been consumed, the beer really takes on a strong grass flavor for the second half which I did not like.

M-It is medium bodied with some lively carbonation.

D-Not terrible, not great. The second half grass flavor was not to my liking. This is probably better shared or served as a 12 ounce beer.

I would skip this one and go directly for its bigger brother, Tricerahops. While it was sweet, it was not as sweet as my buddy claimed.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Total Domination IPA at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a rich gold color with a slight haze. Creamy little white head is not real resilient, Still it leaves a bit of lace on the glass.

Smell is dominated by a citrus hop aroma. Really a sweet smelling IPA.

Taste is decidedly citrusy, lemon, grape fruit, a bit of a malted grain flavor, but oh so slight.

Mouthfeel is fullbodied, and slightly cloying.

A very drinkable IPA, and somewhat sessionable at 6.7% ABV. Nce beer. First I have had from this brewer.

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Photo of drpimento
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this bottle at Sam's in Chicago about 6 weeks ago. Having this one after the Tricerahops and it's not nearly as good. This poured with a white small head and no lace. Clear amber color. Hoppy malty nose. Flavor is pretty straightforward and similar to the aroma. Body is kind of watery. Finish is ok, nothing special.

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Photo of rye726
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with a thin tan head. Nose has bready malts and fruity hops. Taste has bitter citrus hops up front with a nice resiny finish. Sweet caramel malts round out the body. Not a huge hop profile, so I may put it more towards the English side. Either way, tasty IPA from Ninkasi. Medium body is well carbonated.

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Photo of mudbug
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at a local food market in Gold Beach, Oregon.
Pours a nice clear orange with a small head that dissipates with some lacing down the side of the glass, smell is floral hops but held in check, not a IIPA for sure
Taste is balance between sweet malt and bitter hops, an overall very nice IPA, one that I cant wait to try next week in Eugene on tap.
A very good brew!

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Photo of nomomentwasted
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the On Deck Sportsbar in Portland.

Appearance: Coppery and golden IPA color, but head was weaker than I'd hoped for. Still a decent looking beer.

Smell: Hoppy and piny, very much like that of northwest hops. Compared with the DIPAs I've been having of late, a standard IPA is going to seem a little less hoppy, but this was still pleasant enough and had a minimal malt background as well. Just a little underwhelming.

Taste: A little sweet, but hops are upfront and the bitterness (which is relatively mild) come pretty quickly, followed by caramel malts and hints of citrus, but mainly piny, northwest hops.

Mouthfeel: IPA standard with hop oil resin and slight carbonation. Alcohol is masked very well, drank cool and little burn whatsoever.

Drinkability: A very drinkable, yet simple IPA. I wished for more complexity and hops from an IPA called Total Domination and hearing good things about Ninkasi, but it is an IPA not a DIPA, and that's what you get. The 6.7% ABV goes by in a flash, however, making this slightly bitter and unassuming IPA very consumable and unassuming.

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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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