Ninkasi Brewing Company

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American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #81
Ranked #21,770
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
Photo of sprucetip
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Deeper than amber, very active, thick tan head with good retention, and leaves patchy lacing. Good clarity and light red color revealed by backlighting.

Sweet caramel malt balancing nicely with floral and citrusy hops. Very faint roast.

Floral, fruity, and piny hop flavors, with restrained hop bitterness, define this one. But a solid malty body provides balance.

Fairly strong carbonation leads to a slight tingle, but then a creamy medium/full body, moderate viscosity, and a smooth and clean finish. Some bitterness lingers.

Good brew. Quite hoppy but mostly well balanced and pretty smooth. Has some depth, but isn't especially complex. I'll have it again.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Believer Double Red at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a garnet red color and clear. Loose bubbly orange/tan head is not particularly sticky, and leaves little lace on the glass.

Smell is a candy like aroma, caramel and toffee notes.

Taste is a caramel malt flavor, with some licorice along side, and an earthy flavor like peat or soil. Dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and clean.

A nice drinkable red ale. Not to heavy or cloying, and moderately sessionable at 6.9% ABV.

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Photo of smibroncos
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A.Poured a lightly cloudy amber brown, with a one finger light brown, diminishing head. Slight lacing clung to the glass.

S. Cereal, straw,toasted malt

T. Sweet maltieness, nuts, brown sugar, molasses, and dates. Bitter and warm finish,
nice duration.

M. Medium bodied,slightly thick and alcoholic, good carbonation.

D. A pretty good brew, plenty of flavor, decent carbonation, and good retention of flavor.

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Photo of industrialswill
4.97/5  rDev +30.1%
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.

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Photo of 100floods
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark maple syrup brown hue with a toasted-tan head. From afoot away I can get some hop aromas, faintly. Very nice, chewy texture. The texture isn't dense or thick like an DIPA but it feels very full bodied. Nice, woody hop flavor with some good caramel malts. Very herbal flavors, but not spiced, nor comparable to the breweries far more herbal offering, Sleigher. A little hint of lemon from the hops. Definitely some bitter flavors in the finish as well, but not overpowering. Some malt and citrus flavors find their way into the finish as well, giving a little bit of everything at the end. For something advertised as a double red ale, this is not that strong, which is a good thing in this case. You have to be careful with those Northwest hopheads. This is a pretty well rounded brew. It's got something for everyone.

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Photo of katybee
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep red-amber transluscence, not as dull as a porter, and beyond orange.
Medium bodied, just a little chewy texture on the tongue, enough to distinguish it as a double.
Refreshing and hearty, with a biting peppery taste that hinted of lemony citrus, but with no hoppy overtones. Much more complex and herbal than an average American lager. Yet just a hint of sweetness and nothing sour at all. Drinking this beer was an easy interactive experience. Substantial flavor, even if not my preferred. A nice substitute for a doppelbock, without all the maltiness. Quite sippable.

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Photo of silentjay
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a good deal darker than expected with a nice light tan head that lasts and laces well.

relatively weak aroma of caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, with some woody piny hops behind that.

roasted flavor comes as a bit of a surprise, but its not bad. not as much of a hop presence as I'd been led to believe, but some pine does come into play and the bitterness is there throughout.

syrupy and resiny works well for the flavor profile.

drinks pretty well. nothing spectacular or groundbreaking, but something I wouldn't turn down.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color when poured was a reddish brown, light tan foam that disapated, but did have some lace on the side of the glass. The smell was of roasted malts, mild hops and a hint of sweet candy.

The first sip, I thought I was drinking a mild IPA. The only flavor I got was of a piney nature. The bittness wasn't overpowering, but it lacked a lot of flavor, compared to the aroma after the first sniff. Not impressive of this Red Ale. Average at best.

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Photo of gpogo
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown body fairly hazed with large tan head.

A- Sweet malty aromas of caramel and bread. Light piney hops.

T- Started off really remind me of a brown ale. Then I mainly got caramel notes and a piney hop flavor, mostly bitterness though.

M- Initially I noted some slightly grainy creamy mouthfeel similar to a lot of brown ales I have had. That oddly disappeared though and left a pretty clean mouthfeel. Medium body, moderate to high carbonation.

D- I'd like to definitely try this one again. It's a decent beer, I just wonder if I got an off bottle and it is better than I initially judged it.

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Photo of Offa
2.81/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is very much a west coast strong amber ale-type that, after a somewhat promising start, falls flat into rough, one-dimensional caramelised-citrus bitterness and not much else.

Deep red brown-copper, it is faintly hazy with a medium-big orange-tan head slowly shrinking to a thin foamy top and leaving some decent foamy lace.

Aroma is pine caramel, caramelised orange, plain sweet caramel and caramelised barley.

Taste starts off fairly well but goes downhill. It has up front a winey caramelisede toast character that quickly fades and never returns, lightly sweet, with some citrisy-woody bitterness with a little pine and burnt bitter orange, grapefruit and a toasted barley bitterness, all dominating the finish and aftertaste at first. However, things soon degrade, compelxity vanishes, and it ends up overly bitter, sharp burnt citrus and wood with a little dry barley, leaving a character that is rather plain, thin, and barely 2-dimensional. Feel is light but pretty good. It becomes tedious fast.

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Photo of imagese
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
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...

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Photo of thekoz
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice deep amber red color. The head is minimal, but the carbonation level is fantastic. Nice tight, small bubbles that dance on the tongue.

The beer is pretty dry, which I like. The beer doesn't look like it should be heavy, so I glad it is not.

It certainly has a strong hop presence, but it is well balance with the malty flavors as well. Enough flavor that you have to slow down a really savor the beer, which but not so much going on that it is cloying.

Great beer. Would certainly drink again. Would stand up well to strong foods.

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Photo of seand
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear dark reddish brown, with a fair amount of tan head. A layer retains well, leaving nice walls of lacing.

S: Sweet and somewhat floral, with notes of brown sugar and a hint of something vinous.

T: Medium sweetness followed by a huge amount of bitter hops; not particularly balanced. More like an IPA than a red ale; I would have expected a "double red ale" to have a bigger malt presence, but it's not bad if you expect the hops.

M: Medium body, medium smooth carbonation, dry finish.

D: The huge hop presence reduces drinkability, but it drinks pretty well otherwise.

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

Pours an extremely thick and heavy dark amber brown colour. Not a lot of red to it, but the head is something of a phenomenon: a big and frothy crest of pale orange. Minimal lacing, but the head is pretty exciting at least. Looks good.

Nose is pleasantly blended between roasted malt and sharp west coast hops. Citrus is present in abundance, particularly grapefruit, with a light grassiness, but it's mellowed by a nutty and dark roasted grain character that also lends a slight sweetness. It's a good example of a red ale nose; deeper and darker than an IPA, but with the same resolute hoppiness.

Taste is pleasantly balanced again. Hops are sharp on the front, giving a slightly astringent bitterness, but this is backed up with a round and pleasant roasted nut and caramel character through the back, which gives some deeper and slightly darker characters. Very pleasant.

Feel is clear but smooth, and the hoppiness clears out the back nicely.

Yeah, this is a nice beer. Plenty of character, well balanced, true to style, very drinkable. I enjoyed it a lot, and I'll look forward to trying more beers from Ninkasi.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ninkasi believe double red

Appearance- not very lively but gorgeous otherwise. Super lacy. Nice vanilla head with good retention. 4.5

Smell- smokey , hops, slt metal 3

Taste- nice, complex for it's style. Sweet but nice resiny finish.4

Mouf- good.4

Drinkability- very 4

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Photo of srandycarter
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really had big expectations for this one.

A - Raw dark apple cider, tan frothy head leaves to ring fast. Persistent cling lace remains.

S - Wonderful deep barely wine type malt, sweet candy bar with some bitter promise.

T - The bitter promise delivered and the sweet malt came up short, IMO.

M - Balanced to the bitter and the malt just cannot compete.

D - Once is enough. Nice to try.

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

Purchased at Brown Jug in Anchorage Alaska, enjoyed in Tarrytown New York. Poured from bottle to pint glass - dark amber red with a nice 1-2 finger head. Left good beige lacing around glass. Aroma of roasted sweet malt similar to a nut brown. Very sweet taste with a strong hop sting like a nut brown. Excellent dinner beer (I had a bomber of it with a freshly roasted chicken covered with Himilayan sea salt, mashed potatoes, and wilted kale). Great Fall season beer too - hearty, rich, robust. One or two pints and then it's off to nap land for me.

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Photo of mj001jk
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of jdense
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at EOU Faculty Lounge, The Big, OR, served into frosted (ugh) pint glass.

1/2 finger light brown head, medium dissipation, with average lacing. Crimson brown/amber body no visible carbonation. Nose is malt forward, sweet from crystal malt, backed by floral hops. Taste is sweet up front, a bit of mild roast in the middle and faint bitterness, got more bitter as it warmed. Mouthfeel is medium full with not a lot of effervescence. Good drinkability. While this isn't my favorite Imperial Red (Deranger, yummy) upon reflection this is my favorite Ninkasi offering, though I prefer the bottled offering.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.09/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a clear, dark amber body with a finger of light beige head. Retention is decent, and it leaves a web of lace from the initial pour, but nothing on the way down. No collar.

S: Grapefruit citrus, dark crystal malt, a touch of chocolate, spice, herbs, earth. Actually quite a nice nose.

T: The taste is a little less impressive. It's hoppy, but it is more straight bitterness than hop flavor. It might be an old bottle, but without a date, I can't tell. It imparts flavors of earth, herbs. Caramel and chocolate are noticeable. I pick up citrus and what might be pine in the finish. If this is indeed an old bottle, I'm betting it's a doozy fresh. Right now it's a hybrid imperial red / barleywine.

M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is a little high and it makes the beer foamy, but it's not a deal-breaker. Long-lasting, sticky bitterness.

D: I'd love to try this on tap; I doubt I'll pay too much attention to bottles unless they start dating them.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
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 velosuds
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at local grocer for $3.99.

A-Pours a gorgeous copper-amber with a full two finger, off-white head with long lasting retention and copious lacing. Very nice appearance.

S-Aggressive citric hops and toasted caramel malts.

T-Hops are aggressive without being overpowering. Nice malt backbone in finish.

M-Very smooth and extremely well balanced, yet complex.

D-Very nice for an amber ale. So smooth. 6.9% ABV is nicely masked.

I have enjoyed every Ninkasi beer I have tried, but I wish the bottled in 12 oz. six packs to be more competitively priced. I would also like to see bottle dating. I liked this very much.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a muddy copper into a Duvel tulip with an inch of sticky off-white head. Mild and slightly sweet caramel aroma with a bit of toast and citrus rind.

Moderate carbonation and a fairly full mouthfeel. Caramel and honey up front followed by some grapefruit and a tangy, roasty bitterness on the finish.

This one was a bit of a puzzler -- the individual flavors seemed to clash more than balance, but in the end it worked. Quite drinkable!

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Photo of HalfFull
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass, the Believer pours a hazy copper/mahogany in color and showing a half inch of off white foam. Retention is somewhat brief yet keeping a surface cap and offers some moderate lacing.

Nose is of many a Northwest IPA with an excess for me of off caramel and a subdued hop notes, though there's no indication of age on this bottle. Nose does open up a bit with some air however. Bit more roasted malts come forward in flavor and with a notable bitterness. Malt flavors are pleasant but don't add much depth to the flavor of this pour. Nice but unexciting, the brew improves with warming and offers a decent feel but the drink is held in check by a lackluster delivery and a rather chalky finish.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this one up while I was in Washington. Poured in to a standard pint glass.

A: pours a deep red, 2 finger foamy head, heavy lacing

S: piny and earthy hops all over in the front along with a backbone of sweet malts

T: like the nose, spicy hops up front with a considerable amount of bitterness, by mid palate- it turns into a bit of a mess. Some tea leaf like flavors which throws me off a bit. Poorly balanced.

MF: medium body, high carbonation

D: this was not that great for a red ale, the nose and appearance were promising, but the taste did not deliver.

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Believer from Ninkasi Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 541 ratings