Ninkasi Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
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."
firstprev| 126-150 | 151-175 | 176-200  | next → last
Reviews: 200 | Ratings: 541
Photo of RedDiamond
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I wrote "big fruitbowl aroma" in my tasting notes as I sat sipping this ale at The Starlight in Eugene. Later I discovered I had used the exact same phrase in my writeup of the bottled version of this ale. I guess this makes me either consistent or predictable - perhaps predictably consistent.

My numeric evaluation also turned up much the same though it would seem I got more aroma from the bottled version than I did at the Starlight where the aroma folded early. The color glows in deep apocalyptic red though the ale was visually inhibited by a paucity of suds. Taste contours are bold.

A rough and tumble session ale that challenges the taste buds with an adventuresome nuttiness, buxom malts, and a fist-pounding bitterness that holds one's attention.

 763 characters

Photo of HumuloneRed
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bottle.
This beer pours a deep ruby red with a nice thick head and soapy lacing.
The nose has burnt caramel with notes of citrus, dried fruit, and earth.
Flavor has a great bitterness balanced with a carmel and fruit finish.
The mouthfeel is creamy and has a medium body. This is quickly becoming one of my "Go-to" beers because it is a very drinkable and well made beer. Good job Jamie!

 396 characters

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

Pours a dark reddish brown with a fairly nice loosley beaded head and some sloppy lacing. Smells minerally, earthy, and malty, but also a bit thin and watery. Tastes smooth, malty but dry, but a bit flat in flavor. There is some lingering minerality and a bit of charred malt. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery up front, but it finishes malty and spicy. Decent, but it doesn't really make me want to come back for more.

 424 characters

Photo of koopa
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber from liquid solutions poured into a bodum thermo glass.

A - Deep red color bordering brown with a nice beige head.

S - Good hop presence but sweet smelling as well.

T - Strong roasted malt taste up front with a mild hop bitterness in the finish. Quite different from other well hopped ambers that I enjoy such as Green Flash Brewings Hop Head Red or Speakeasy's Prohibition Ale. Believer has its own take on this category and I'm enjoying it.

M - Fair amount of carbonation and a bit chewy

D - Very drinkable and enjoyable.

 543 characters

Photo of GJ40
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a tulip glass. Purchased at Belmont Station in Portland, OR.

A - Deep red color that traps most of the light that tries to get through. It has a thick beige head with good lacing.

S - Combination of sweet malt and hops. Some yeast as well. Very nice.

T - Roasted malt dominates at the start (more then I expected). Its then joined by a good bitterness from the roasted malt and the hops. Not a lot of hop flavor though. It didn't seem able to make its way through. Good but not my favorite from Ninkasi.

M - Chewy. Really sticks to your mouth. Nice moderate carbonation with lots of very small bubbles.

D - Good but again, not one of my favorites from Ninkasi. It goes very well with food though. The flavor really stands up to spicy foods like Mexican.

 788 characters

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

Dark brown,slightly reddish complexion, nice looking dirty white head. Very nice hoppy strong aroma, piney, floral, great Nice hoppyness in the taste too..pretty dominanat though to be honest the semi-sweet malt profile is large. There seems to be a battle in my mouth bewteen the two, it ends in an uneasy truce as the hops fade out half way down the throat. Very nice. Good smooth palate, slightly sticky but alcohol well hidden. LIked this one a lot, not up with Arrogant Bastard, but would like to taste fresh at brewery

 524 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apparently the Sumerians praised the goddess Ninkasi for the miracle of fermentation. It is indeed a wonderful process, and I do hope this beer is worthy of worship. I also love that I can pretend this beer is named after the great metal band the pour...

Thin and creamy light-tan head leaves strings and dots of lace all around the glass, while the color is a rusted reddish-brown.

Aroma gives equal time to malt, hops and something akin to a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Quite toasty, even reminding of fried dough. I recently had a beer that tried to emulate the flavor of a chocolate donut and it sucked. This, however, reminds me of a fresh-basked donut.

Flavor fills the mouth with a familiar NW hops layer that doesn't quit. It's nice, although a bit too grassy, without the balance I'd expect the malt to provide. Grassy astringency hangs out in the finish, brash and unceasing. Feels like it'll coat the inside of my mouth forever. Brief flashes of sugary spices peek through, but there's really no getting through the rough and raw hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is nicely soft, just enough carbonation to feel it but it's more about buttery lightness, which helps the bitter flavor ride through even stronger.

An enjoyable slice of the Pacific northwest, Believer takes me back to my Oregon visit last year. Has the signature rawness that I found in various brewpubs out there (New Old Lompoc, Lucky Labrador, and Amnesia, among others). Unfortunately the flavor seems to lack balance. I love hop-bombs, but this isn't even that. It's just not well balanced. More malt, please!

[Thanks to msubulldog25 for this bottle. Go Cubs!]

 1,659 characters

Photo of tayner
3.11/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle

Poured dark brown/ruby red tint with a creamy colored head, lots of sticky lace.

Smells of bitter, over-roasted almonds.

Taste is up front some citrus hop flavors, lots of grapefruit and some lemon peels. It finishes with a sort of rancid nut oil flavor and some burnt husk flavors. The flavors are not all that pleasing and linger on and on.

This one has plenty of carbonation to keep the mouthfeel from being heavy, but still a full feel.

I managed to get down this one bomber, but I cant help but feel that someone over-roasted the grains on this one, and not in a good, I want this beer dark and flavorful kind of way but more of a rancid, old stale pecan kind of way.

I have really enjoyed the other two ninkasi brews I have had thus far, and I am thankful this wasnt the first one I have tried.

 824 characters

Photo of Dubbercody
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Nice beer, a bit hoppier than I was expecting, but it's nice. Nice reddish brown color. Quite resiny.

Interesting beer, although not my favorite, but I'll have to try it on tap to see if that makes a difference. It's one that grew on me. The second half of the 22 oz bottle I enjoyed more....

 307 characters

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

"Brewed and dedicated to the believers of Ninkasi. Rich dark malt complexity is balanced by a plentiful hop presence bringing together perfection in every sip. Who knew believing had so many rewards?"

--Believer Double Red Ale label

More cranberry than orange, with maraschino cherry highlights when backlit. Atop this darker than usual red ale sits a pale caramel colored crown that is small, but has a great deal of character. The moonscape surface looks fantastic, as do thick patches of sticky lace.

The beer smells moderately caramel malty with plenty of citric and spicy hoppiness. It's all wonderfully bold and portends good beer to come.

Other than a fruit peel muskiness and a little bit of sourness, both of which remain in the background, Believer Double Red Ale tastes like a well-hopped double red ale. Imagine that. Malt and hops are nicely balanced, both in terms of sweetness-bitterness and in terms of flavor delivery. Yet another successful lupulin-loaded Pacific Northwest brew. There are 60 IBUs in case you're wondering.

The malt backbone is just big enough. A teensy bit more heft would be welcome. Flavors include melted caramel, a cornucopia of citrus fruit (lemon, orange and grapefruit), and maybe even candied cherries. This isn't a hugely complex beer, but it is a tasty one that should satisfy anyone looking for an alpha acid fix.

I'll set my full mouthfeel bias aside and give BDRA the benefit of the doubt. Again, a few more shovelfuls of malt would help. The carbonation does what it's supposed to do, while pretty much staying the hell out of the way.

Believer Double Red Ale and Total Domination IPA are my favorite Ninkasi offerings so far. Both are solid from top to bottom. I look forward to seeing what else these guys have up their sleeves. Cue The Monkees: "I'm a believer...".

 1,825 characters

Photo of ohmybock
2.53/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Well, the bottle states this brew has a "rich dark malt complexity" among other things. I'd certainly have to agree after tasting it. Unfortunately, I don't care for that rich dark malt complexity at all in this red ale. For my tastes, that dark, bitter, harsh, roasted character doesn't work for me at all here. I like my red ales "red", but without an overpowering harsh chocolate/roasted character. I did like the hop character which is mingled in with the other flavors. I also liked the color and clarity of this brew. There could have been more head, but that's not a big deal. Overall, this brew just didn't work for me. Oh well, that's why they make lots of different brews, right? Everybody has different likes and dislikes.

 733 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark brown color with dark reddish hues with a thin light tan head that creates a ring of lacing around the glass. The aroma is piney hops along with sweet malt and caramel. The taste starts out with sweet toasted malt, but is quickly accompanied by a good dose of leafy hops that lingers well after the end of the sip. Overall, Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale is a really nice and hoppy PacNW brew that is recommended.

 475 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up from bottletrek

Pours orange/chestnut one finger of tan head. some floaties in the bottom of the bottle. Good head retention & above average lacing

S: Cakey, but not much else

T: Toasty malt, herbal & leafy hops & a touch of roasted malt up front. As this warms the flavor oscillates from cocoa to charred grain & back with lots of leafy hops & a touch of fruittyness (figs & pears), plus a bot of brown sugar. finishes dry with some caramel & more leafy hops, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Light/medium bodied with light, but persistent carbonation; fairly good balance

Fairly drinkable for the abv, but really lacks the malt guts to really suck me in. A nice winter warmer from a pretty good brewery

 722 characters

Photo of bitterthebetter
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a rich dark brown with reddish undertones and beige bubbly head.

rich caramel malt and pine hops dominate the aroma with slight citrusy undertones

upfront piney hops lead to smooth caramel malt and then back to persisting hops on the finish. slight brown sugar notes.

tingly on the mouthfeel with good strong body, crisp hops and a medium yet never too heavy body.

nice and smooth, finish endures longer than the first sip lets on.

 441 characters

Photo of smttycty
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first sample from the much talked about brewer Jamie Floyd. From a 22 oz. bomber to my long-necked snifter, this is a deep, deep ruby colored ale with a short lived custard hued crown. Minimal lacing but longish legs. The aroma is full of piney hops, a touch of smokey orange essence like a splash of Grand Marnier, and a soft note of tart fruit (pomegranate?).

The flavors are hop-forward, piney and citrus, supported by a mellow oaky malt base. That faint tart fruit is dancing off on the side of the palette as well. Though rare, I like when the aroma matches with the flavors. The finish is a gentlemanly bitter affair with out brashness. A very nice display of hoppy flavors without the 2x4 whack to the palette.

The medium body of this beer is softly effervescent as it swirls around but feels more tingly as it washes away. A finely crafted ale with nice subtleties. I will look for this on tap.

 909 characters

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful red/copper color with a below average head, average lacing and average carbonation. The dominate smell is heavy citrusy floral hops and mild malts. First taste is light, sweet, and a mild crisp hoppy note. Light in body and taste. Not bad - not remarkable either.

 281 characters

Photo of beermebeerman
3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had my frist one this morning. Maybe it's just my personal opinion but to me this is really just an IPA dressed up at a double red. Don't get me wrong, its not bad, but I don't see how this is fundamentally different from a big English style IPA.

Pour was pretty, head was small and retention was worse than I would expect. Nice copper colored body and cream colored head.

Smell was the first thing I really noticed, Northwest hops filled the air and got me all excited for the first gulp, but...

Taste was not what I was expecting. I wanted more of a malt profile. Maybe it was the yeast/hops combo but I didn't get a big 'double red' malt taste. Not bad, just not to the style I was expecting.

Mouthfeel was good. it felt like I was drinking a meal, there's the 'double.' Finished slightly sweet. Liked it.

Drinkability is high, especially paired with the right food. All in all not a bad beer, but a little short of what I was expecting.

 951 characters

Photo of Sorgasm
4.72/5  rDev +23.6%
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..

 350 characters

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

22oz bottle purchased for $3.99 on 4-4-8 at Cedar Hills New Seasons.

This beer pours a very dark reddish brown color with a forced two-finger tan head the reduces to nothing while leaving behind solid wash of lacing.

The aroma is big on the crystal malt while the hops come through prominently as well with an inviting fruity/earthy presence. The taste features a light bitterness which is balanced by a definite caramel/cane sugar sweetness. There's a bit of a roasted coffee flavor in there as well. The alcohol is nearly imperceptible.

 542 characters

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Believer Double Red Ale poured a beautiful red hued goodness with a two finger foam head and some sweet lacing.

The aroma was excellent on the hop presence and a slight maltiness. The taste was excellent it gave you the solid malt of a red but with a more dominant hop in your face ness. In the mouth is left you with a good bitterness and slightly sweet taste on the tongue. Overall another wicked good beer from the boys from Eugene.

 440 characters

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ooh, an IRA!

Dark mahogany wood stain color. Quickly disspoving head.

Hoppy aroma, bitter notes.

Sweet caramelized burnt moassass/sugar flavor. Not what I expected. Almost smokey malt presence in the beginning, and then in the late taste and aftertaste, a shock of bitterness takes over. Not really any herbal or floral hop presence, just a bitterness. This one is probably dryhopped for the aroma, but the main hopping takes place early in the brew, producing a reall bitter finish.

Drinkability is okay.

Overall, quite a unique and tasty brew!

 553 characters

Photo of BeerZack
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle says 6.9% abv.
Deep mahogany color, big frothy light brown head.

Lots of sweet caramel and roasted barley smells. Spicy woodsy hops there also.

Mouthfeel is very soft and smooth on this medium-heavy brew.

Taste is sweet and toasty caramalts and roasted barley thats balanced by spicy herbal/woody hops with a hint of citrus peel.

Very drinkable.

 361 characters

Photo of mattmaples
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber / red in color, its aroma is hoppy upfront with toasted malts. The flavor is well bittered with a citrusy earthy hop. The malt is lightly of chocolate cake and bread. I'm a big fan of the Believer as it is aggressively flavored but well balanced malt to hops.

 270 characters

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

Dark amber/brown in color with minimal head. Subtle, but pleasant aroma of hops and earthy malt. I've had this on tap, but first time trying the new bottle...

Nice hop bittering upfront, with citrus rind twang in tow. Solid, husky, toasted malt body that balances out the hop profile. Quite drinkable at 6.9%. Medium full mouthfeel with a slightly toasty, almost chocolate tinged aftertaste. Doesn't linger too long, just enough to be pleasant. I'm glad to see Ninkasi is bottling, and also glad the beers are at the market next door because I'd like another. Cheers.

 569 characters

Photo of Cascadia
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a big beer. Jamie brews up this heatmizer-winter warmer more often now, due to the high demand. I'm not as big of a fan of this one as some of his other brews, but this one has a hard-core following here in the Willamette Valley.

Pours a cloudy dark brown, think muddy maple syrup. Lots and lots of hops in the nose, with a strong alcoholic bite at the end. Tastes are huge, tons of hops attack your palate, followed by a big wallop of malt and burning heat. Big all the way through. Best drunk in the colder months, for me at least, this one is a sipper.

Overall, a good warmer, but be warned, this one dosen't have training wheels.

 649 characters

firstprev| 126-150 | 151-175 | 176-200  | next → last
Believer from Ninkasi Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 541 ratings