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: 1,460
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer's aroma is classically piny in every sense of the word. Sure, there are also hints of melon, caramel, and table sugar, but this one is all about the pine in particular. Dare I say it smells like a forest? It doesn't particularly pop, but neither does it seem overly harsh or biting. It tastes much the same way - that is to say, it's a pine bomb. It starts with plenty of pine, grass, and lemon; and finishes with a surge of toffee and caramel. Light fruit esters pop up after a while. Though I don't find it THAT bitter on the palate, make no mistake: it's astringent and very dry, with carbonation that's ample enough to cleanse things nicely. On the other hand, it feels a bit too bulky on the tongue. I expected a brutal pine bomb, but this is actually quite nice. A classic, old-school IPA that shows what the style used to be like, and still offers enjoyment compared to all the tropical juice beers currently out there today.

3.45/5: An old-school IPA through and through, but still quite charming

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Photo of Offa
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly cloudy dark gold, big off-white head, steadily-slowly shrinking to a thin, rocky-foamy top and some nice frothy lace. It looks good.

Aroma is grapefruit, strong yeasty juiciness, raisiny bread dough, overall very nice and well-balanced.

Taste is nicely juicy and resiny, leafy, citrusy, and doughy up front. At first it seems well balanced and well rounded, but then it becomes to sharply and astringently bitter in the finish, with an astringent, slightly overly sharp medicinal bitterness lingering too assertively and unpleasantly afterwards This is too bad because it has some good character and up front starts out very nicely rounded and balanced before the sharp bitterness takes over with everything else vanishing to allow that sharp bitterness to linger unpleasantly and unchallenged.

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Photo of SickBrew
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared this with a friend from a 22oz bottle.

Pours fair with one finger of head. The beer is yellow orange with a fair amount of suspended particulate. Nose is somewhat grassy and not as dominating in the hop category as I was expecting. I was hoping for a bigger punch. Taste is a little to sweet and there something different in there, almost medicinal in fact. I was definitely expecting more bitterness in this beer. Mouthfeel and carb levels are medium but don't make up for or balance out the sweetness. A heaver malt background might be what this beer needs.


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Photo of woodychandler
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I know that I should be laser-focused on The CANQuest (tm), but I have been curious about Ninkasi's beers for a while and when I spied this at The Fridge, I decided to bring a 12-fl. oz. bottle home with me for review. Little did I know that it would be so unhappy in my fridge - twice, it tried to commit suicide by falling off of the shelf when I opened the door! Fortunately, I have a small bit of foam there for just such circumstances, having lost a couple that way. No worries, mate! Today, you shall have your freedom returned and you will experience the glory of recycling thereafter!

From the bottle: "Multiple hops collide in balanced perfection, dominating the senses and achieving total satisfaction. From the Pacific Northwest, birthplace of the modern IPA, comes a beer whose name says it all."

As I held the bottle up to the cold, hard light of the burgeoning day, I saw floaties in the kick of the bottle, suggesting a) hopping to the point of saturation/oversaturation and b) that a VERY gentle pour was in order. The cap Pop!ped off quite easily and so began the aforementioned pour. This raised only a skim of foam, but I managed to leave most of the lees (?) in the bottle, so I consider it a win. Color was a solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a pine hops quality, but it was not as dominant as the name had led me to expect. Mouthfeel was medium, but the tight CO2 bubbles gave it a prickly quality on the tongue. I was not really impressed by the taste. It was like the hops had total domination, not the beer having total domination over me. It was highly unbalanced, which I generally like, but this was like licking a pine tree without any respite. Don't get me wrong - I remain a self-avowed hophead, but the hops were unabating here. Finish was quite dry, naturally, since the malts were either absent or hiding out in their having been totally dominated.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance- pours a slightly hazed orange amber color with a rather small fizzy white head. The head fades rather rapidly leaving only a light level of lace on the sides of eh glass.

Smell- The aroma of the brew is a mix of lemon and grapefruit citrus hop as well as some notes of grass and pine. Along with these hoppier smells so too are some aromas of a yeasty nature as well as a little bit of a boozy smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a citrusy and bready flavor upfront with the citrus being a combination of grapefruit and lemon hop tastes with some sweeter flavors of orange and tangerine. As the flavors advance, some yeast and grassy flavors come to the tongue along with a little bit of caramel sweetness. The caramel fades thought and toward the end the bitterness from the grapefruit and lemon gets stronger and with a light pine hop flavor coming to the tongue as well produces a moderately bitter and slightly fruity flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the medium side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. The more standard characteristics suit the brews flavor and abv. well and make for a rather nice easy drinker.

Overall- A decent IPA but nothing exceptional. Fairly easy drinking and overall rather enjoyable.

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Photo of vande
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - a strong auburn like goldne hazy...thin lace hugging the side of a two brothers pint glass...

S - Floral blended with some citrus hops.. hints of pine

T - bitterness with a bit of malt on the back...some grapfruitiness going on with a bit of pine...decent balance of malts here too

M - Nothing crazy... medium body, reasonably easy drinker

O - Not bad. Something I got via trade. I generally have enjoyed what I've had from them thus far and look forward to trying more....

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Photo of dv8sean
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think The Bros may have gotten this one wrong. That, or they ran into a bad batch. Had to ask myself, "Self, do you think they tasted the same beer we did?"

Appearance is classic new world IPA. Honey gold and bright. Poured from a 22oz bottle with ample but not excessive head. Pleasing lace left within glass. Just a trace of sediment.

Smell is all about the dank. "It smells like the art teacher's office." --Lisa Simpson

Taste is plenty bitter, but I wouldn't say teeth-whiteningly bitter. This is an IPA, after all. There's enough malt to provide a counterpoint, and I'm happy to say that there is no cloying sweetness. Long finish reveals complexity.

Mouthfeel is bitter on sharp on the edges and smooth in the middle. Proper levels of carbonation.

Overall, I really like this beer. I've had it about a dozen times, and I suppose there has been some variation in the overall impression, but I've never been disappointed.

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Photo of blackc5
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy golden orange with a finger of white head. Good retention and some decent lacing.

S - Citrusy hops, but very one note. Quite mild actually...

T - Decent malt backbone providing the bread flavors, with a fair amount of piney, citrusy zest from the hops, and some grassy bitterness in the aftertaste. I find it to be on the sweet side however, especially for a west coast.

M - Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Fairly dry finish, yet a bit bland feeling in the mouth. Missing the resiny aspects.

D - Almost a great beer, but just too sweet and a bit one-note compared to other more accomplished IPAs.

Edit: Reading a few other reviews, I find it interesting that some wish it was sweeter, and others find it too bitter. I wonder if there are consistency issues. My bottle was definitely overly sweet for an IPA.

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Photo of jellikit
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Light orange. Mostly clear, ever-so-slight of a haze. Super thin head.
S: Can not make out any hop aroma. A little malt aroma is all I smell.
T: Small malt profile. Big on the pine and tar hops. Some citrus. Dr
M: Medium-high carbonation. Dry.
O: Good IPA. But it tastes like every other super hoppy NW IPA.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a slightly hazy orange amber. One finger off-white head and light lacing. Faint aroma of malt and light fruit, not much hops, which is surprising. Medium bodied. Mild malt, piney hops, pineapple and citrus dominate a light to medium flavor profile. Nice hop finish, but not very fresh or herbal. A very low key IPA. Neither the malt nor the hops are very notable. Pleasant, but not a contender; there are too many good IPAs out there.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

on tap at bobbique with lunch and some ribs. transparent orange color thin head. nose and taste is a rich syrupy hop but the taste has a fairly massive bitter blast on the finish. on the sweeter side of the spectrum. ok, not bad but not great either.

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Photo of brandonpaulweaver
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had this beer several times throughout Seattle, mainly from a tap. I remember enjoying it more then than I am now so my rating might be a touch low.

A - Amber Orangey brown

S - Slightly orange, A floral quality as well.

T - Hoppy! Then Malty! Kinda Sour then bitter.

M - Crisp. With a creamy middle. This is my favorite part about this beer.

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: relatively pale golden orange coloration. about a finger and a half of cloud white, rocky head, polka dots of lacing. pretty uneventful life after pouring.
S: warm orange and mild hop presence on the nose, and just a touch of pine. theres nothing here really taking control, but its pleasant nonetheless.
T: non aggressive and relatively balanced. theres a good stash of hops that reap a small bit of havok on the palate, but not to the point of some of the bigger west coast giants. i wasnt so sure at first, but after a few sips, i rather start to enjoy the rind-y aspect of the flavor profile.
M: creamy texture right up front followed by the semi-tsunami of hop rash. nice carbonated kick to follow up and bring it home. im not "totally dominated" by this one, but i like where its going.
D: i really do enjoy it more and more as time passes, and find myself wanting another one, so not bad.

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Photo of Daktyls
3.34/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden amber color with a half finger head that recedes to a patch of fine lacing that is thicker ins some areas than others. Present in the beer is a column of sediment that seems to be slowly travelling downward.

S: As others have noted, a very yeasty smell is present along with a a slight amount of citrusy hops in the background. I can't really pick up on anything else.

T: Tastes just like the smell, some yeasty flavors are present along with some notes of citrusy, piney hops. Not a whole lot else that I can pick up on.

M: Light on the tongue, smooth, almost watery, easily drinkable.

O: Overall, a decent IPA, not overly bitter like most IPAs, yet nothing particularly special either.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Half finger of head. Copper colored body.
Strong smell of pine, nothing else. One trick here.
Medium bitter taste at first, moved to mild malt without the sweetness. Nice, simple and good.
Crisp texture, medium body and lower carbonation.
A solid IPA with a pine taste and smell.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 07/16/11 notes. Bottle my girlfriend brought back from Oregon 2 weeks ago. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a hazy orange-yellow color with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. An inch of head stays throughout drinking it and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of citrus hops, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Not overly hoppy or strong, but enjoyable.

t - Tastes of light citrus hops, fruity malts, honey, and light pine hops. Again, not too strong in the hops, and quite bitter.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Lots of bitterness in the mouth.

o - Overall a decent IPS but I didn't find it that hoppy, and found it very bitter. Probably wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light yellow color that is slightly cloudy - with a small head and below average lacing and under carbonated. Sweet smell of crisp fruity hops. First taste is extremely light not just for an IPA but for a pale ale as well. Not worth your time or money as this beer is lacking flavor.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice two finger head. The color is orange, somewhat see through, not as hazy as I expected. Smell isn't too potent, smells of hops, maybe a small malt note in there, definitely a citrus and maybe fruit smell as well. Taste is average, you get a nice hop bite in the front and then there really isn't much else, kinda putters out. Somewhere in the middle there is a weird flavor, don't know what is causing it. Mouthfeel is tart, standard for an IPA. Drinkability isn't bad, for it being an IPA, I wont have trouble finishing the 22 I have.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Source/Serving: 22oz. Bottle

Smell: Grapefruit/orange/pineapple that a damp overall character but is kept fresh up by a slightly acidic juicy note. As it warms mutated floral notes come through. Biscuit is hiding in there somewhere.

Taste: Solid, strongly flavored IPA. Semisweet tropical fruits and brown sugar up front with a healthy dose of bitterness and acidity. On the bitter side of the bitter/sweet axis but balanced with floral bitterness coming through in the especially thick, sticky, tart finish. Grain character is absent. This beer has some balls and is in your face, but remains well composed and articulate. Thick mouthfeel overall, which is nice at first become overwhelms after awhile limiting its drinkability a bit.

Notes: Bitterness is calculatedly aggressive, but otherwise par for the course

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Photo of mothman
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Pours ½ finger of beige head. Decent retention with some splattered lace. Color is a hazed golden orange. Lots of sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Lots of bready malts with a big amount of fruit. I get some orange and mangoes. Some light floral hops. Not a lot of hops here

Taste: Lots of fruit flavors. I like this aspect of the beer, but there is too much bready malts. Some floral hops. Oranges and grapefruit. Lemons in the end.

Mouthfeel: Lightly bitter but very creamy. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends grassy and sticky.

Overall, this ipa just isn't for me. It doesn't pack enough hops up front for me. It is always good trying a new beer, but I won't be getting this again.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a bomber of this for around $5. Pours a mostly see through yellow/orange, smallish white head to it. Not much in the aroma department. Taste is alright, bit of an odd mouthfeel. Somehow manages to not be overly hoppy, but no maltiness to back it up either. A bit of a confusing beer, the hops just do not shine through like you'd expect. Would be hard to recommend this one.

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Photo of hbensinger
3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a good amount of head and leaves nice lacing in the glass. Very little hop aroma but overall good balance between bitterness and body. It would benefit from more flavor in the middle. Mouthfeel is as expected.
Not my first choice but isn't bad in a pinch.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oranges on the nose, fresh citrus. I don't really get any malt aroma off of this, it's just a mild citrus. Wish it was more dominant, it's disappointing, but not offensive.

Total Domination is beautiful opaque orange gradient with a crisp off-white head that laces extremely well. The head dissipates quickly which is a shame.

Main flavor is orange citrus. It has a kind of bready bite in the mid palate which helps carry the beer through to the crisp finish. Bitterness is firm, but not dominating, interestingly enough. The bready malt character I would say is more dominant than usual in this style.

It's highly carbonated, and full bodied, almost chewy at times. The beer actually finishes a tad dry, but all that thick maltiness would trick you into thinking its sweet. Overall this isn't bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, slightly orange, golden color with a small, tight white head.

Smells of earthy pine hops with some caramel malt underneath. Hops do not smell "clean", but a little "muddy".

Tastes of wave of hops followed by a decent malt backing. Hops have a mostly pine and earth notion to them with some floral and citrus notes as well. Hop flavors feel light, but do have a solid amount of bitterness. Malt provides some sweetness, with a bit of caramel and bread. Has a fairly dry finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly fizzy amount of carbonation.

Overall, a mediocre IPA, I would want everything to be a bit "cleaner".

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

Tasted On: 07-15-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Globe
Purchased: Received in a trade

A: Dark orange, with hazy clarity. Head is creme-colored and 2 fingers, with a good amount of lace.

S: Strong hop aromas, with floral and pine characteristics. A bit of maltiness in the background as well.

T: Very bitter, with citrus/grapefruit flavors. I can't get much else beyond the bitterness - a real hop bomb!

M: Medium bodied, with a high level of carbonation. Finish is dry and extremely bitter and acidic.

O: The name is Domination, and if they meant domination by hoppy bitterness, they were successful. Other than that, I wasn't too impressed by this harsh beer.

Thanks to Cyberkedi for this one

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Total Domination IPA from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 1,460 ratings.
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