Ninkasi Brewing Company

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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #85
Ranked #24,806
3.82 | pDev: 10.73%
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
Very Good
Notes: An Imperial American Red Ale.

Ninkasi website:
"6.9 % alc./vol. 60ibus. Always available in 22 oz bottles, and on draft."
Reviews: 200 | Ratings: 541 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of the_benskii
the_benskii from Washington

3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby with foamy head which subdues into a thin lace that clings onto the walls into a pint glass. Smells biscuity and after warming up a bit more caramel-like. Taste has a huge earthy hop upfront kick with a strong malt backbone and toasty after taste. Feel and carbonation is normal and overall a decent beer for the price.

Apr 14, 2018
Photo of goinmobyle
goinmobyle from Utah

4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep red color and forms a thick, creamy head when poured right. A well-rounded taste, definitely red!, with the imperial side peeking through the full malty body. @ 6.9%, packs a punch!

Mar 10, 2018
Photo of RB3
RB3 from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A good dark pour. Smells OK but there is the sad hint of what is to come: A beautiful beer from an amazing brewery that tastes watered down somehow. Almost like it tries to reign in the hops and alcohol.

I worry that this is Ninkasi's new direction as a brewery.

Feb 16, 2018
Photo of Lingenbrau
Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Believer pours just as it should claiming the title 'Double Red'. It's aged brick appearance is exceptionally clean, and even more beautiful when held to light as ruby red highlights shine. The khaki, foamy head lingers around the circumference and just paints the glass with spots from head to toe.

Caramel, brown sugar, and sappy, earthy hops swarm out of the glass. A heavy malt sweetness is perceived in the aroma alone with suggestions of raisin and cooked dark cherries.

Very much brown sugary, the intense flavor is met with warmed biscuits, a heavy smear of caramel, and a hefty dose of pine. A wonderful rye like spice tingles on the front of the tongue.

The feel is quite polarizing. It is initially abundant with sweetness, but the floral bitterness seems to linger on forever. The spicy quality is enhanced by a solid medium carbonation and a finishing dryness. Hard to say where this lies exactly, but as with moth Ninkasi beers, I'd give the edge to the bitter side of the spectrum.

As far as reds go, this is pretty damn solid. Maybe a bit more aggressive than most might like, but this is in my wheelhouse. It's intensely bold and interesting, and I'd suggest it to anyone who is seeking just that. Cheers.

Jan 17, 2018
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VeganUndead from Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boring. Would have enjoyed it more either way, if it had more malty sweetness, or more hoppy bitterness, but its actually just middle of the road boring

Jul 11, 2017
Photo of crimsonfloyd
crimsonfloyd from California

4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dense reddish brown with cream color head. Smells of roses and berries with a caramel scent as it heats up. Wonderful taste of strawberries and a granular malt dimension. Hops have a grapefruit taste on the finish. Overall, a stellar red ale.

Jun 24, 2017
Photo of Keemohoppy
Keemohoppy from Colorado

3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Easy drinking double red (never had such a thing). Color is a cloudy, dark amber. Robust hop aroma. Very flavorful but not overwhelming. Pairable but could stand on its own as well.

Jun 24, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The appearance has a nice rich malty red looking body with a huge lumpy foamy white head that rises above the pint glass and once it dies after a good minute it sinks to a valley of lumpy white goodness. The smell is based around caramel malts with some bitterness but to me it seems like its just bitterness for the sake of bitterness. The taste has some dried caramel malty flavoring - to me this doesn’t really show much in the taste. There is super dry caramel aftertaste that leads to a very dry finish. On the palate, she sits about a medium on the body, and tries to show a sessionable quality that ends up in the end not being as sessionable as one might hope but still not exactly a sipper either. Overall, it's a decent beer. Bunch of different amber ales I'd rather come back to.

Jun 09, 2017
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13 from Colorado

2.62/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Pours ruby amber with a medium creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is cola malt with some nutty cardboard leather.

The flavor is sweet nutty cola and caramel malt with a bit of a bitter alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, it's not well balanced with overly sweet cola malt and an overly bitter finish that just doesn't all go together.

May 07, 2017
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TX-Badger from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish coppery color with off-white head. Caramel malt, toast, dark fruit, and some light hay and grass on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with more malt and toast.

May 05, 2017
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NastyNorseman from New York

3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Red and coppery with fluffy two-finger, beige head with lacing. Smells of caramel, dark malts, and hops. Tastes rich and sweet with dark fruits and caramels. Nice bittersweet balance with hops dates and fig notes. Finishes nicely. Medium-bodied.

Apr 16, 2017
Photo of BJB13
BJB13 from Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a narrow mug.

Pours a deep reddish-brown, deep enough that at first look it appears rather murky but is actually almost clear. The two finger off white head had a slight red tint to it and gradually lessened to about half a finger with good lacing that stayed for the duration. The nose was subdued and consisted mostly of slightly sweet caramel malt with a hint of of hop aroma. Malt forward with toasted biscuit and very little sweetness it is fairly well balanced and finishes bitter. Medium bodied with good carbonation and a little creamy in the mouth, it drinks nice and smooth .

I really enjoyed this. Glad I have 5 more.

Mar 22, 2017
Photo of TBoneJones
TBoneJones from Texas

3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep copper with ample foamy head and some nice lacing, too.
There's not much to the nose, slight malt hints if anything.
Taste is toasted bready malts with molasses, then hops in the finish, and an even slighter medicinal taste. Solidly so.
Feels smooth and slick, with a bitter, drier finish.
Although I grabbed this leftover single bottle for sale in March, I can see this being an occasional go-to for the season just prior.

Mar 17, 2017
Photo of hophugger
hophugger from Virginia

3.36/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A good red ale with a nice malt backbone that does not detract to much from the hop goodness. Cool feel and a great balance on this one. Finish is nice with a touch of bitterness on the end

Mar 07, 2017
Photo of delta490
delta490 from Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

It's a beautiful deep clear red, almost brown. It's got about a finger of moderately foamy light tan head with great retention and leaves some small sticky lacing. There isn't much in the aroma, just some vague hints of caramel. The taste is similar but with a little bit of earthy hops. The body is lighter with a small amount of carbonation.

Feb 26, 2017
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BikeChef from District of Columbia

4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Definitely on the malty side, with toffee and caramel notes blending in with a good dose of hops. A very solidly made beer that's balanced well. Don't expect a double red IPA, though-- this is more of a malt-focused winter brew, which I appreciate it.

Jan 31, 2017
Photo of jwc215
jwc215 from Arizona

3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle - It says "seasonal" but no reference as to which season. No freshness date, but it appeared recently on the shelf at Winco, Bremerton, WA from what I noticed.

Pours deep ruby tinted crimson with a fluffy off-white head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of soft caramel with a subtle earthy, musty touch.

The taste is of caramel/toffee with a hint of dark fruit (fig). Leafy, floral spicy hops gives it a dry balance in the long finish.

It is very smooth. Just about full-bodied. Alcohol very well-hidden. Refreshingly balanced.

Malt-forward, but with a nice hoppy dryness in the finish. A pleasant red ale with a boost of extra flavor and body. Very nice!

Jan 23, 2017
Photo of Libeertarian
Libeertarian from Montana

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes taken 04/19/16:

I've had this one for just under a year. Relatively high alcohol, proper storage. I've had this fresh and I remember it was good but I think it is better slightly aged.

Mostly clear but incredibly dark brownish copper. Much more opaque and variegated in the light on the second pour. Vigorous pour, yet only two-finger head. Fine, foamy, film-forming and then almost creamy tan, good retention and lacing. Dates, dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, toffee aromas, perhaps hint of resinous, leathery hops. Very sweet-smelling. Plums, dates, earthiness, toastiness, berries, toffee, brown sugar, resin, and leather to the taste. Excellent flavors. Extremely sweet, barely enough hops to prevent cloying. Full-bodied, but lighter end of it, syrupy, smooth, lots of softer carbonation. Mouthfeel is perfect for the palate. Alcohol isn’t extremely high for this style, but what’s there is well-disguised. Solid 4.25 across the board.

Apr 22, 2016
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Applebys. Dark amber with thick, foamy head. Sourish hoppy nose. Taste has a metallic tinge with dry finish. Good, but not best, still recall the metallic tinge to this day.

Mar 17, 2016
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero from California

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is malty sweet and somewhat sharp. Rough edges meet a hint of cloying caramel and somehow play nice. Style bias aside I can remember a time when I would have been excited by this beer.

Nov 02, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours brilliant reddish brown under a 1” persistent white to cream colored foam collar that clings to the side of the glass. Rich and malty nose, creamy, malty, tastey palate with a decent hop balance. A little above medium body and a little below medium carbonation.

Jul 12, 2015
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC from Canada (AB)

3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1 pint 6 oz. poured into a nonic. A dark reddish mahogany brown with two fingers of very creamy, frothy beige head. Leaves some lacing that looks like a map of the world (I shit you not, would attach a photo if I could!). Color falls exactly between an amber and a true brown ale.

Aroma is unassuming and mellow but pleasant enough, some candied pineapple, papaya, white grapes, and toffee coming through. Slight chocolate. Taste is far toastier and nuttier than the nose would suggest. Big toasted biscuit flavor coupled with oily walnuts, baker's molasses, orange and grapefruit rind, canned pineapple rings, caramels, nectarine, tannic black tea. Hops are bold but fall just short of a "red IPA" level. Some of the dry bitterness tastes malt-derived.

Body on the thick side, with rather subdued carbonation. Finish is where the citric and tropical hops really shine. More puckering tea-like tannins with a squeeze of lemon and lime. I am appreciating this red ale. Robust toasty malts with fruity hops providing a foil. Flavor develops nicely as the brew warms. Sweetness, toast/nuts, and hops nigh perfectly balanced.

Feb 09, 2015
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Beer-Revelry from Texas

3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a deep and dark mahogany ruby red. Forms a half finder of light rusty brown head that quickly dissipates down to a film.
S - Sweet hops upfront, sweet malts in the back. At first it could've fooled me for an IPA, coming back for another smell, it could now fool me for a porter. Quickly and constantly developing beer as the temperature rises. Quite complex.
T - Lightly sweet and bitter hops upfront and the same with malt in the back, like a perfect mix between an IPA and a porter somehow, surprisingly complex and in-depth, especially for the style it is.
O - A damned good and pleasantly surprising red ale. Will definitely have again if I get the chance to do so.

Jan 11, 2015
Photo of FLima
FLima from Brazil

3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quite reddish color with a thick beige head with great retention and leaving a wall of laces.
Aroma of red fruits, pineapples and caramels.
Sweet, but Increasingly bitter flavor with notes of apple juice, toasted malts, spices, American yeast, tea leaves, grapefruit, soap and dark fruits peel.
Quite dry aftertaste with a nice bitterness.
Medium body with milder carbonation. Alcohol of 6.9% is well hidden in its body.
Pleasant Double Red Ale, fruity and flavorful, but it could have a lower body or even more hops to tame its body and make it less balanced, or more, depending if it is a hop head judging it... In my opinion all Doubles should use hops freely.

Nov 21, 2014
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane from New York

3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a sultry and seductive brick orange with shades of reds browns and rust. Has fiery golden yellow highlights as well. Tan head of creamy foam that lasts and leaves lace. Good clarity . Nose is firm with caramel. It's hard to explain but this is firm caramel. Not soft, not too sweet. It has a lovely biscuity malt scent and a beautiful orange peel on the nose. A wild bit of herbal and a touch of brown sugar. As it warms some needle like pine come s to the nose. Taste is seductive with malt that sports more complexity than I would have thought . it is a creamy biscuit, it's dry and crisp and it has this firm caramel. it's not terribly sweet. And for even the little bit of sugar it is still not awfully sweet. It is powerful malt presence in this beer. The hops are grand with a dry powdery floral and a bit of herbal. There's tangerine and the fruit and the pith of the tangerine. It's the sweetest thing. This fruit presence and yet it's shy and hangs back a bit. The beer finishes with a lovely bit of resin to coat the palate and leave behind that needle like dry pine in it's and that brilliantly complex malt in it's biscuity glory with that firm caramel. Like I said it's not too sweet and the bitter is outstanding. A moderate bitter takes hold and flourishes in the aftertaste.

Nov 21, 2014
Believer from Ninkasi Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 541 ratings