Ninkasi Brewing Company

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American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #81
Ranked #21,785
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 flexabull
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep and dark clear amber color with a decent off white head.

Aromas are of resiny hops, caramel, and a touch smokey.

Flavors are of toasted malts, caramel, nice creamy sweetness and some light toasted oak as well. Finish is dry, and cuts the sweetness well with some earthy hop notes.

Mouthfeel is nice and full, kind of thick too, but far from heavy.

Drinkability is very good. I really enjoyed this beer. It's very flavorful, but not heavy, and it hides it's alcohol content rather well.

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Photo of arizcards
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber from the Welches, OR Thriftaway for $3.99.

Beer poured a deep amber with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose is huge caramel malts with a hints of citrus. Taste is a malt bomb, but without a huge abv. Caramel malts dominate but is has a decent amount of citrus hops to compliment. Mouthfeel is awesome, I cannot recall an amber this thick and satisfying. Drinkability is very good, this is a very nice version of an amped up amber ale, very satisfying without all the alcohol that normally accomodates the doubleimperial style. Too bad this is not available in Arizona as I could see enjoying this as part of the rotation.

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Photo of cbarrett4
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into Unibroue narrow tulip. Also tasted twice from tap with consistent results.

This one is an oddity being a Double Red Ale, but actually being quite balanced and subtle at times.

A - dark red, amber hue with decent head and a nice lace.

S - Lots of malt and sweet aromas going around, though rather straightforward.

T - A little more is going on with the palate than the nose, some hops are notable, as well as the sweet malts and hints of dried red fruit.

M - Medium to full bodied with good texture and a nice balance.

D - Though balanced, it is rather richly textured and can be a bit much to drink more than one glass (even one 22oz was a bit much; good to share though).

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

Ruddy amber pour with off white head. Smells of hops and sweet bread. First flavor is of malts with a medium/strong hop finish. Hop flavor lingers in the mouth.

My only other experience with Ninkasi is Oatis, which was just sort of meh. This is a nice beer, it reminds me a lot of the now defunct Sac Brew's red horse ale- a hoppy red. Not too hoppy though, it is mildly balanced with the lightly roasted malt.

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

22oz bottle.

Pours dark amber with a one inch head of beige. Spotted and smeared lacing throughout the glass as well as a solid skim coat.

Aromatics are laced with roasted barley, crystle malt, and citrusy hops. Sweetish and roasty with hints of grapefruit and pine.

On the fuller side of medium bodied. A bit velvety with plenty of gription for the style.

Sweet malt with roasted overtones and a decent hop bite start the palate. A firm bitterness steps up along with grapefruit, pine, and a trace of brown sugar.

Finishes with a lingering, sweet, roasted note, juicy hops and a bitterness that attempts to dry the beer out.

Tasty enough, but too sweet for my tastes and the hops are subdued from what I was expecting. The roasted notes kind of clash with the hopping also.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a reddish, brown color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Nose smells like sweet malt and lots of hops, I mean lots of hopos for the style.

T: Sweet, malty, caramel, lots and lots of hops plus plenty of booze

M: A pretty hearty Red Ale and medium bodied

D: Good but every damn beer does not need to be hopped to death. Give it a rest.

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Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber. Smooth caramel malt followed by a satisfying citrus bitterness. I would have liked more character from the malt, but that's just me. It certainly fits the average red ale malt profile and despite the "double" name, it's quite drinkable. The hops have a mild, fruity pineapple taste up front followed by a biting orange rind kick that pairs nicely with the bready caramel. A cool beer, check this out.

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Photo of Zorro
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear and very dark red colored beer. This has a good 1 1/2 inch tall tan head on it. Very good in the looks department.

Smells malty and hoppy with malt being the stronger scent. Slightly spicy with some brown sugar scent. Citrus and mint hops but this is really more a malty beer.

Starts out malty with a woody aftertaste. Chocolate and hops, though strangely they are hard to ID beyond some sort of C Hop. Decent flavor but not real memorable, tastes like Arrogant Bastard watered down.

Mouthfeel is good.

An OK beer but also kind of boring. Everyone makes a beer kind of like Arrogant Bastard but not quite and this is another. Next time I want a beer like this I will buy AB for less money.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was tasted at a local tasting a while back. I just got around to typing up my notes.

Pours a golden brown with a respectable head.

Smells like sweet malt and nice hops. Great balance.

Nice sweetness at the front and a good hoppy finish. Great balance.

A bit light, but with nice carbonation.

This is greatly drinkable with a good finish.

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Photo of Briken
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Believer is a clear red-amber with a big tan head that leaves a chunky lacing. A nice bud subdued floral hop aroma with a hint of malts. The floral hops battle with sweet caramel and chocolate malts over dominance on the taste buds. The fight ends in a draw with the hops getting one last parting shot in a lingering bitterness. There's a even mouthfeel that makes it all very easy to take. There's also a little alcohol in the nose as you swallow.

The hops stick around a little longer than I would expect but the interesting malt character makes up for it. It certainly is an easy drinking red that would be great for that last barbeque before winter.

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Photo of BDJake
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark reddish copper, clear yet lets little light through, topped with a ring of off-white head

S- rich hoppiness followed by an earthy malt backbone

T- bitter yet well balanced, yet fairly simple, even for a red

M- medium body woth prickly carbonation and bitter aftertaste

D- why not? it's pretty solid, if not the most spectacular

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark amber into my tulip with a one finger head that died off quick that left a little lacing.

S: could smell some malts with a hint of nuts and faint hop notes in the background.

T: Has a maltly flavor in the front with some nutness, and a pleasent bitterness at the end.

M: the beer is medium bodied with light carbonation.

D: Not a big fan of red ales, but really enjoyed this beer from ninkasi. I think I could drink a whole bomber by myself next time.

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Photo of colts9016
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at 41 degrees.

Appearance: A one and half finger head that is foamy and creamy with okay retention. The color of the beer is dark brown with mahogany hues. The clarity of the beer is opaque. There is some carbonation. The head is leaving some lacing on the glass.

Nose: A firm malt background with yeast, biscuit, bread, fig, molasses, and some phenols. There is also a note of caramel, wood, citrus, and floral esters.

Taste: A deep rich malt flavor caramel, yeast, biscuit, bread, fig, molasses. The hop is subtle there is wood, floral esters, and some citrus. Also there is notes of phenols and solvent.

The mouth feel is coating, warm, dry, and slightly astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium. This is a good. beer but I was hoping for more pronounced hop flavor. The malt has a solid backbone to support it. It is a good beer more of a malt bomb than anything.

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

Had this in a 22 oz bomber in Portland, OR on 2010-01-17.

A - Pours a clear, ruby red with a 2-finger light tan head. Tons of lacing.

S - Dried fruit, pine and bread

T - Fruit, strong hop bitterness, citrus, caramel. Noticeable sticky pine resin is very nice.

M - Creamy with medium-high carbonation

D - Great taste and mouthfeel make this a winner.

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

Another great beer offered at the Bitter Creek Ale House in Boise. It was served in a standard pint and the beer is a deep garnet with a dark tan head.

It has great hops in the aroma. I'm guessing Chinook and cascades.

The beer starts with some piney bitterness that is quickly followed by some light brown sugar and grains. Definitely leans towards the bitter side of the ledger, but I would not change a thing.

The mouth is coating and a touch oily. It is a very easy drinker. First beer I've had from this brewer and I'm looking forward to trying some more!

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Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, translucent, crimson (although the second glass was full of floaties) with a big, fluffy tan head. Smells earthy, nutty and a little hoppy. Tastes fairly sweet, with some caramel, a little chocolate and some lemony hops. Nice drinkability, good carbonation and a smooth body. Alchol is well-hidden and the hops leave a bitter finish. Overall, this one is pretty good, although it might be a little old (or damaged from sitting on a BevMo shelf). Would love to try it fresh from a tap.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint.
Clear ruby red with a pillow of tan head that leaves moderate lace. Aroma is caramel, toffee, bready. Not much hop presence. Flavor expresses more hop bitterness, piney over the malt character. Not an overwhelming flavored brew despite the "double" in the name. Finish has a surprising bitterness, not overwhelming.... just surprising and lasting.

A pleasant, but not exceptional brew.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark red, with a long lasting white head, lots of lace, a little fizzy.

S: Fragrant and pungent with a lot of sweet malt and caramel.

T: Biscuity malt, with hop flavours of pine, cedar and cantaloupe. Not bad.

M: Smooth, elegant, soft carbonation which I like, medium-bodied.

D: Another solid effort from Ninkasi. In the end this turned out to be more of a sipper. While I haven't been blown away yet, the 2 beers I've had from them have been good.

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Photo of illidurit
2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Pours sort of orange but sits a deep clear amber in the glass. Nice foamy beige head. Aroma isn't too robust for the style. It's hoppy but not a tropical citrus blast like Winter Yulesmith etc. Notes of pine sap and caramel with a little solvent and grapefruit. Flavor is a letdown. Barely anything there. The body is so thin that it seems like the flavor is washed away before I can taste it. Fleeting bready malts and an herbal hoppiness along with a tobacco note, however faint. One positive here is the bitterness, which is very substantial. Carbonation is a little on the low side. All it needs is body and it could be a decent beer.

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Photo of livingregret
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1pt 6fl oz Bottle

Look: Lovely dark ruby that has some light shine through and a great head with plenty of retention. Ample lacing. Fantastic red

Smell: Sweet malt, piney goodness and a touch of bitterness. The malt and piney are the strongest smells

Taste: Strong malt with an almost biting pine final taste. Citrus follows the pine(grapefruit) The a bit to much for my preference personally but it is a good beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick sticky malt lingers but so does that damn pine.

Drinkability: Very drinkable but due to alcohol, and general taste, not sure how many I could enjoy in a night. Still....I will buy again no question

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Photo of popery
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, home. Nice looking beer. Red, translucent, big creamy head. The aroma is mostly sweet caramel malt. There's a relatively strong hop character - citrus fruits, wildflowers. The flavor is a bit too sweet, despite the hops. The hops are a bit blandly bitter once you actually take a sip. Mouthfeel is just ok. Good beer but needs a bit more delicacy and less sweetness.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
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 aaron12
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.59/5  rDev +20.2%
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 beerthulhu
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark cherry-ruby that allowed little light and visibility thru the glass. The head proved to be stubborn despite its small statue of 1 finger and stuck around lasting for a few solid minutes. The head was frothy, beige in color while leaving a nice sticky ring lacing. Underneath its deep coloring and haze lied a initially strong carbonation factor that quickly settled to a whimper.

S: The nose reeked of sticky pine and grapefruit of medium-strong proportions. A dry toasted sweetness, perhaps munich, adds a nice malt dry touch to the affair.

T: The flavor starts off with a sweet offering of toasted dry munich malt. The hopping is strong and lively with wet dripping pine juice with a flowery citrus bite. Dry grapefruit with a pollen-like coating soon graces the tongue upon the swallow. I really liked the balance and equal show of malts and hops here and could hardly decide or contemplate as to which I enjoyed more. Both were married into a solid example per style.

M: The mouthful had a nice full maltiness, creamy, all the while being equal parts smooth. Some sticky pine hop resin lingers about on the tongue giving some stickage after the swallow.

D: Although listed at only 6.9% abv it felt like it drank a lot bigger. A big drinking red experience that was rich in malts balanced nicely with a dry American citrusy flowery hop presence making for a classic example that should not be missed. Nice drinkability, very likable per style with a bomber satisfying your American red needs. High repeat purchase appeal.

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