Total Domination IPA | Ninkasi Brewing Company

376 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: 376 | Ratings: 1,456
Photo of colts9016
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at 42 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger ivory head that is foamy and creamy with some retention. The head is leaving some lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is medium amber color with orange highlights. The clarity of the beer is hazy. There is some yeast floating in the beer.

Nose: A very fragrant floral bouquet that is spicy, with orange, grapefruit, and pine aromas. The malt is toasty, subtle sweetness, and some yeasty hints in the background.

Taste: A very solid hop flavor that is fragrant, spicy floral bouquet, orange, grapefruit ester, and pine. The malt is toasty, yeasty, biscuit, and a subtle sweetness. There is some phenols and a touch of solvent.

The mouth feel is dry, astringent, and carbonated.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This is a rock solid IPA. A really good flavor solid malt backbone and very easy to drink .

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours like a caramel burnt orange with a finger of frothy head with some pretty good lacing.

S: I could smell the hops which seem to have a good balance between the malts. mild pine scent with a hint of lemon zest.

T: slight hoppy bitterness but has more of a malty flavor to it. I'm also getting a hint of grapefruit as well.

M: the beer is medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation, with little bubbles.

D: A mediocre IPA but not a bad one coming out of oregon.

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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 GRG1313
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber with a thick yellowish white head that fades fast.

Nose is lemony carmel - not typical IPA nose more of a double IPA nose;

Mouthfeel is medium bodied; nice balance and nice simple bitter pine/grapefruit hops. Pleasant in the mouth and with rich bitter grapefruit with nice undertones of malt - nicely balanced. This is a very good double IPA "flavor" but doesn't have the alcohol. I would peg as a "hoppy double." Drinkable and nice. Grade is not totally just as IPA - since it doesn't have the intensity one expects in an IPA but this is a very well integrated and drinkable brew. Especially good as it warms.

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

Poured a nice orange color with good carbonation and a nice white head. Nose is malty, chewy and floral, perhaps some citrus hops. Taste is booze, malty, bread even, nice hop feel with a good amount of booze. Mouthfeel is big hops, bitterness medium to end, floral and citrus. Pretty good.

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Photo of vacax
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rather excited to find Ninkasi beers starting to hit shelves in Southern California. This one pours a brilliant clear amber color with over two fingers of cream colored head. Retention is mostly ridiculous leaving insanely thick lacing. The aroma has a crisp hoppiness to it, some light perfumey hops and a bit of resinous scent.

The flavor is highly balanced at first, with little malt character despite the dark appearance. Pine and herbaceous hop flavors soon develop and the finish has small amounts of caramel malt and a perfumey hop essence. Medium body with a relatively high carbonation, not bad, but I would like it to feel a bit more natural. Overall this is a pretty decent IPA.

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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 nectar14
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 22 ouncer.

A: Gold/straw color, 1 finger white head and good lacing. Slight chill haze.

S: Hops, not too terribly aggressive. Piney and a whiff of caramel malts.

T: Balanced fairly well between malt and hops. The flavor comes somewhat close to the Sculpin, but with less sweet malt and more subtle hopping.

M: Nice, fairly smooth, and bitterness is unobtrusive.

D: Good in this area. Sluggable IPA. Will have again.
Decent price and the labels are really easy to remove, which makes the empty bottles great for filling up with homebrew.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great single ipa here, a little darker than your average ipa, on the low end carbonation wise. Good aroma. Standard pine and citrus feel, not overpowering.

Taste, continue to be pleased, a little lighter than the appearance would suggest. Pine seems to pull ahead downbottle, citrus remains. Unbalanced in a good way for an ipa, not totally out of whack.

Great price wise, $5 a 22 for a solid beer.

EDIT: I dunno what the deal is, but these keep getting worse. Don't buy at bevmo, always old.

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Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange. TWo or three bubbling inches of off-white foam head. Serious foam here.

Smells ... fairly mild, given the name. Some sweet malt, some pine, a bit of randomized citrus. Good, but not overwhelming.

Taste is similarly meh. I mean, this is a good beer. And for 3.15 a 22 oz'er, I might be getting it alll the time. Mellow citrus, some nice malt giving it an interesting backbone for a dipa, a kind of earthy pine. Nothing really leaps out at me. Really more of a double pale than anything else.

Nice bubbly mouthfeel.

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Photo of rarbring
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper-toned amber colored beer, an off-white head that leaves good lacing.

The smell is sweet, dried fruits, citric, grapefruit, floral, pine.

Tasting some sweetness and acidity upfront, but is mainly dominated by the bitter hops. Toffee, dried bitter oranges, shortbread and grapefruit peel.

Medium to high carbonation, a good body and a very dry finish.

A well done American IPA, with the hops dominating as they should. Something to sip extendedly.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy amber-gold with two-finger off-white head. Lively appearance. Good retention, sticky lacing.

S - Sharp pine and herbs, light citrus with white grapefruit peel and rind.

T - Resinous pine dominates the hops spectrum up front. Black tea. Some citrus character lurks beneath never fully revealing itself. Heavy dose of malt and grain leans towards the "balanced" variety of IPA... more reminiscent of east coast style.

M - Moderate-full feel with a nice stickiness and lingering dry bitter finish. Moderate-high carbonation.

D - Solid and well made, but not flashy.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours an amber orange with a firm long-lasting white read, good lace.

S: Bitter melon, cantaloupe rind, white grapefruit pith, lemon.

T: Strong bitter hops offering white grapefruit, cantaloupe and a hint of mint and green tea. Moderate malt character for this style. Very bitter, not too floral and I'm not getting a lot of complexity. Just a big bitter note and that's it. Give me more Ninkasi.

M: Medium-bodied though it thins out towards the finish. Long bitter aftertaste.

D: An average IPA for me, clearly to style, but just one-dimensional, in the end kind of boring.

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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 ThreeWiseMen
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bomber poured into a snifter. No date on the bottle, but I know it just hit the shelves a few days ago.

Appearance: Body is cloudy (it had been stored on its side - looked clear following the final pour) and a mix between honey and amber in color. Carbonation looks pretty active. A short, white, foamy cap sat on top initially, but after a minute or so it's no more than a thin film. Sticky, cobweb-like lacing covers the inner walls of the glass. A good swirl revives the head temporarily, but not to its original level.

Smell: Rich herbal hops make themselves known immediately. Peach, candied orange, caramel, and biscuit come out more as it warms. Also getting some milder fruity and piney aromas. Very pleasant.

Taste: Biscuit malt and piney, salty hops form the backbone of the flavor profile. Caramel, grapefruit, and lemon are also in there. Finishes bitter and dry with flavors of earth, salt, and grapefruit. I'm not a big fan of the flavor combination - would have liked some more sweet fruitiness - but nonetheless it's a decent IPA.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, malty, and chewy (for an IPA) with a bitter and dry finish. Carbonation is very soft but adequate - suits the beer nicely.

Drinkability: I grew tired of this one midway through. While I enjoyed the smell, the taste was just too static. I finished the bomber, but I would have been happier sharing it.


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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle from BevMo. Looked interesting.

Appearance is fairly clear. Kolsch looking. Head formed but dissapated fast. Little bit of a ring. Litttle bit of lacing.

Aroma is interesting. Grapefruit. Little bit of pine. Tangerine? And something else I can't identify.

Taste is not really like it smells. Kinda tastes like SN torpedo. But like a dryer lighter version. It's ok. Not too intense but good.

Mouthfeel is lower carb then I would expect. Light dry on the palate.

Overall get one if you see it. No need to trade for it though.

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Photo of popery
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, home. Maybe, my IPA standards are just too high, but this was a big disappointment. It looks just fine, golden translucent liquid with a big head and good lacing, though nothing to write home about. The aroma is bready malt with a touch of caramel toast and bland piney hops. The flavor is too sweet and the specialty malt character doesn't work. There's a musty off-note, and the hops are bland grapefruit rind and pine with very little character or nuance. Mouthfeel is a bit watery with a touch of bad hoppy paint thinner. My least favorite from Ninkasi so far.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a sticky head of foam from a 22 oz. bomber. Half an inch of foam settles slowly.

Interesting citrus hop aroma yet without any real bitterness, bit smoky and cloaked. Reminds me a bit of Hop Stoopid on the nose though simpler in a sense.

Taste is smooth and citrusy, easy and somewhat sweet though not overly so. Unobtusie and unoffensive at the same time. Bit watery and falsely citric in the end. Decent though a bit chalky in the close.

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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 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 Bookseeb
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance has a dirty amber color with a full thick pillowy head leaving nice lace. Smell of sweet caramel malt, fruity, piney and hoppy. Taste of sweet caramel malts, fruity grapefruit bitterness that hangs around in the aftertaste awhile. Mouthfeel has medium fullness with good carbonation. For me it was slightly sweet for my IPA palate, could also use a little more malt for balance.

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Photo of eaglepar3
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review, so bare with me. Just learning the ropes.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Ninkasi pint glass bought at the local bottle shop in town.

A--Pours a orange-y color with a one finger head and a little bit of lacing. The second pour yielded a two finger head, perhaps a not so careful pour the second time.

S--Floral aromas overwhelm the nose, but citrus notes are also apparent.

T--I taste mostly citrus notes. It is a smooth drinking brew with a medium body.

M--It is a little bland in the mouth. Just carbonation is tasted, not so much depth to the beer.

D--This brew is very drinkable. I find myself picking this one up over and over. It is tried and true. I am just getting into IPAs, but I can't steer myself away from this one.

I hope more people hear about Ninkasi, they're a great brewery.

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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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Total Domination IPA from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 1,456 ratings.
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