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Believer | Ninkasi Brewing Company

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183 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An Imperial American Red Ale.

Ninkasi website:
"6.9 % alc./vol. 60ibus. Always available in 22 oz bottles, and on draft."

Added by Cascadia on 06-23-2007

For Trade:
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Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 492
Photo of industrialswill
4.97/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is as close to a perfect beer as I've ever had. It's like drinking a dark, high viscosity IPA.
Dark brown with a thick, creamy head.
Smell is of floral, citrusy hops with roasted malt.
Tastes just like it smells, glorious balance of bitter to sweet.
This is one of my all time favorite beers and it comes as quite a surprise since it has virtually no fanfare.

 365 characters

Photo of aaron12
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this is the red ale i've been looking for...

dark blood red/brown, with a big pretty, white head.

figs, port, berry jam, hops somewhere in the distance. i'd expect this to be pretty sweet from the smell.

but it's not, it's done just right, the balance is impressive. sweet malts, that quickly fad into citrus hops, with the dry sweet coming back again in the end. there is a taste of alcohol a few seconds later, but that's ok with me, for 6.9 it's not too noticeable, and it almost ends with a nice port flavor.

this beer is rated as a B, and i don't know why.
this shit's good.

 584 characters

Photo of Sorgasm
4.72/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance - nice deep red with a modest cream colored head.

smell - nice balance of malt and hops; jamie's trademark.

taste - sweet caramel malt profile with a bright cascade hop finish.

mouthfeel - smooth, fitting of the style.

drinkability - oh yeah, pour me another one!

one of jamie's finer concoctions. this beer will make you a believer..

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Photo of Antnego
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this beer is way underrated.

A: Pours a deep, red amber with a thick, two-finger head with excellent retention and thin lacing. Looks gorgeous.

S: I get brown sugar, caramel, maple and citrusy hops on the nose.

T: Taste largely follows the nose. This is a complex brew! I get maple, caramelized brown sugar, molasses, and grapefruit. Finishes with bitter hops and a very slight sour tang (almost undetectable). Simply wonderful.

M: Lots of refreshing carbonation, medium body, goes down easy. No booze detected.

O: BA has got this one seriously wrong. RateBeer scored this a 95, an excellent rating for an excellent beer. This brew is so rich and refreshing, with complex hops and caramel interplaying on the palate. It easily rivals Russian River's best offerings - I hope it gets the recognition it deserves on this site, Ninkasi should be rewarded for producing this beer.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.59/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a red amber with a thin head. Smell of sweet caramel malts with fruitiness coming out with the hops. Taste has a nice caramel malt flavor with an earthy grapefruit note that is balanced well with the hops. Mouthfeel is a smooth medium that goes down well with the carbonation.
A definate well made red ale, I particularly like the balanced, although light sweetness that this has to offer.

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Photo of toxicmash
4.54/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A:poured from a 22oz bomber bottle into a tiny 5.5oz tulip filling it with the deep amber leaving an in of headspace for the light caramel colored head to climb to the apex of the glass. Head dies down to about a quarter of that as it leaves a very bubbley intricately lacing the glass S: Lingering And complex fruity notes of pear and mellow citrus (almost peachy) soar over a presence of caramel and brown sugar, very pleasant hop aroma. T: Very similar to the aroma with an addition of molasses to boot, a very well rounded and firm balance of flavors with neither hop nor malt outdoing the other. Caramelized brown sugar and mellow fruit wash down the tongue harmoniously giving no clue as to the high alcoholic profile, almost refreshing M: bright and bubbley yet not lacking in body this stupendous amber is a exceptional vision on the classic that will certainly get you drunk off your head x_X

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Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from a seasonal four pack. Very rewarding purchase given I might not have tried this beer if it wasn't included as one of the four. Another fine beer from Ninkasi. Pours dark red. Nice head retention.
Very hoppy for a red ale. Great citrus aftertaste kept me going back for more. Pleasant and very drinkable.
Not an IPA but trying to masquerade as one.

 361 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was fantastic. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Served chilled and poured into several pint glasses, this one was consumed on 09/07/2009.
The pour was marvelous. Rich dark amber in color with a nice brown consistency to it. A big head of off white comes up and over the top, settling down nicely into a pillow that never really lets go after that point. Really nice touches of lace ring the sides of the glass and complete the look rather well. Enormous aroma of earthy hops, sweet caramel and candy like sugar are damn near spot on. Warming it only serves to make it sweeter. Wonderful touches of warm brown sugar are the first thing I notice. Smooth, super smooth. Big, nearly full bodied feel here delivers tons of bready malts and an overpowering dose of caramel flavor. Just about perfect. Warming up brings out more candied sugar and just the most sweet malt flavors  I could imagine. Nice dose of hops on the finish just brings the whole thing together really quite nicely.
Overall this was just superb. A style I don't get to see to often, but if it came out like this I would be dying to try it. Really just top notch and a cut above the rest. I would have to recommend this to anyone.

 1,217 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden amber color, with a thick, darkish head and extremely pretty lacing.

Smells sweet and hoppy, maybe a little licorice.

The sweetness and hoppiness are very well balanced -- exactly what I look for a in a hoppy red.

Feels thick but light in the mouth -- not syrupy, but with great substance.

Dangerously drinkable beer.

 341 characters

Photo of wstuart
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

anyone who sips Believer, immediatly becomes a believer. it is very apparent why ninkasi has kept this brew as a year round brew. very aromatic of cascade hops, with a bitter finish that comes on a little strong. great for cool days and outdoor/beach consumption

 262 characters

Photo of loren01
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color. Slightly cloudy with a good sized head and good lacing down the glass
S: Sweet with a nice grassy/earthy hoppiness
T: Caramel/toffee sweetness up front with a nice crisp earthy hoppiness at the end
M: Medium bodied, medium amount of carbonation
D: Very drinkable beer, would try this again for sure.

 333 characters

Photo of imagese
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A great dark amber. Partially opaque with a one finger biscuit head

S: great nose. Oakey brown sugar with a very subtle hint of citrus hop

T: The taste is great. Nice hop kick up front, with a warming malt middle, and a great bitter finish. More a grapefruit rind bitterness

M: slightly high on carbonation. Medium body that has a nice feel on the tongue, and a nice lingering bitterness throughout the mouth

D: for a hopped up red, this is a great session beer. Not as harsh as Green Flash's HHR. Would love to try this dry hopped...

 543 characters

Photo of PDXHops
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a shaker pint.

Pours a deep see-thru reddish amber, with a thick, creamy beige head standing "just proud of the rim" a la a pint of Guinness. The head barely reduces in size at all, and leaves plentiful sheets of lacing. Gorgeous beer.

Even blunted by the shaker pint, the nose is very nice, with robust roasted and caramel malt aromas, and a bit of earthiness. The huge maltiness carries over to the flavor, but the earthiness is substantially intensified and joined by a bit citrus mid-swallow . It's medium-thick and chewy, yet quite smooth, with all the flavors seeming to linger and demand attention for several seconds.

Overall impression: If there's a better amber/red ale than this one, I can't wait to try it.

 731 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After being underwhelmed by Spring Reign I am glad to be rewarded by a great double Red Ale. Poured dark reddish brown with a huge head. The beer is malt forward but with lots of hops. Thick mouthfeel which is right for the style. You never feel that you are drinking an IPA but rather a big malty cousin that still has the hops. Big long finish with little sweetness. Good stuff

 379 characters

Photo of vande
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ozer poured into a nice Goose Island pint...

A ~ a thick looking brownish red with a slight dirty tannish lace hugging the glassware

S ~ coppery malts w/ hops right away

T ~ To be honest, somewhat reminds me of lagunitas "chronic" - Censored.. another beer I like! Malty, hoppy, rich... Very good!

M ~ bit creamy textured...light-to medium feel.

0 ~ a tasty beer found in this bottle!

 392 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.31/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Opaque umber, not particularly pretty. Relatively little head, but decent tracing and lacing. Some bubbles visible within.

S: Smells pretty great. Almost a perfect amber ale, actually. Buttery, sweet, rich, malty, with pleasant floral-bitter hops.

T: More bitter than anticipated, but with a rich molasses on the endtaste to lend balance. This is a very well-crafted beer. Malt-heavy, on the tongue and in the flavour profile. Hops are not as present as in the nose, to the slight detriment of the taste, I feel. Still, there is a bit of resin on the aftertaste and citrus in the maintaste.

M: Full, sweet, and wet. It has presence, if not gravitas.

O: I'm really impressed. Even better than Tricerahops? Highly recommended; will definitely have again. One of the best (Imperial?) red ales I've ever tasted.

 868 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

 269 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour: Deep red-amber color. Two fingers of off-white head that retained very well and left some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong hit of grapefruit citrus hoppy goodness, with an underlying caramel malt sweetness. Slightly alcoholic.

Taste: Starts off with citrus hop twang which then gives way into a sweet caramel taste. Middle is fruity and yeasty, and the back end finishes up with an iced tea and piney hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Incredibly smooth.

Drinkability: For 6.9% alcohol, it drinks really well. You can't really taste the alcohol and it's slightly quaffable.

Final Notes: A great Amber Ale. Has a little more giddyup than the run-of-the-mill American Amber, and the flavors are well rounded and interesting. Another great offering from Ninkasi.

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Photo of dsolonenko
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: awesome color, deep red, very clear. big creamy head which does not go away
S: smells great too, heavy sweet with prunes and macademia-nutty notes. and toasted bread
T: caramel and toasted bread, then the hops bitterness kicks in and stays for quite some time.
M: silky mouthfeel, low carbonation
O: overall great bear, maybe a bit too bitter to my taste

 359 characters

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy copper, red in the sunlight. A nice light head leaves some lacing.

Smell is citrus hop, roasted malt and a hint of sweet.

Taste is similar to nose. The hops surround and fill the mouth, the malts are in the middle, with a hint of sweet finish.

Smooth with a light hop tang. Almost creamy for a medium light brew.

A great beer and price. Plenty of flavor going on, will definitely have some more.


 416 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful reddish purple body that allows hints of light through at angles guided by the pint glass. The head is big and thick looking like the top of a root beer float. The tannish-red head has incredible stamina too.

S - Lightly roasted malt with an accent of citrusy hops and a hinting of alcohol.

T - Thick malty flavor with finely accented hops to add hints of citrus and pine. The flavors meld together extremely well. This is a very good tasting beer.

M - This beer goes down extremely well. There's just enough coarse texture in the brew to bring out the sublte flavors.

~ This beer is very good! In fact it has convinced me to change my favorite beer style to match. I will definitely be picking up another bomber the next time I get out to Oregon. If you get a chance to try this Ninkasi brew, do it, you will be pleased.

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Photo of mj001jk
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark red amber with a hazel-colored foam. A thin lacing remains for a while in the glass.

Earthy hops and nutty aromas with caramel and roasted marshmallow accents. A little bit of alcohol bite on the nose but it adds character and lets you know what to expect.

Earthy wood and subtly roasted malt flavors with a fig-like character and pronounced bitterness at the end. The flavors linger and fade out nicely a minute or so later.

I really like this sort of a red ale, dark and brooding - yet fresh and balanced.

 522 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice hazy amber color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, with caramel notes. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, recommended.

 290 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre Tulip.

A- Pours a dark amber with a 2 finger light beige head. Some small spiderwebs of lacing remain on the glass.

S- Sweet dark fruits, cherry, citrus and some pine.

T- Some toasted malts, cherry, lots of citrus (orange and grapefruit), and slight bitter pine.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Nice and creamy feel gives a nice smoothness.

O- Very good red ale. The cherry/dark fruit notes is different but still has a nice citrus flavor and aroma as well.

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Believer from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 492 ratings.
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