Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale | Ninkasi Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
167 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt AleSleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Called 'Dark Double Alt' on the label.

Ninkasi website:
"7.2% alc./vol. 50 ibus."

Added by msubulldog25 on 01-08-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 563
Photo of ccrida
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at Henry's, Sleigh'r is mahogany with a fluffy off-white head with long last, leaving heavy sheets of creamy, foamy lace. Very nice.

Smell is very pure malt, not overly sweet, with a bit of toast, like the robust brown ale that it is.

Taste is similar, nice and rich, but balanced maltiness, clean with a pleasant warming sensation the only indication of the ABV.

Mouthfeel is creamy, with a medium body.

Drinkability is good, this is a nice malty brown, very well made, satisfying but dangerously smooth.

 524 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large mug. Don't remember when or where I bought this bottle. I hope it's in good shape.

Pours a dark, rich brown with a big frothy beige head, looks like it's leaving some magnificent lacing down the sides of the glass. Looks fairly translucent, carbonation is not very active. Smell is nutty, rich, and malty.

Taste has a strange sourness to it which isn't too great, but it's nutty and bready, with a thick bitterness that is hard for me to describe, but it's pretty pleasant.

Mouthfeel is not too thick, but a little sticky. Tasty, drinkable beer.

 580 characters

Photo of pianoguy
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle No bottling info

Pours a brown body that turns reddish and becomes a little clearer when held up to the light. Off white head has good lacing, fair retention.

Smell is malt forward with chocolate and a nutmeg type of spice.

Taste is a nice mellow malt.It doesn't go crazy. it's just there. A little chocolate that leads to an aftertaste that has a marzen-like crispness to it. I can't taste the 7.20 alcohol...

Nice full feel

This beer fits like a glove. Malt forward without being a malt bomb... Followed by a wonderful Marzen like crispness...Bravo !

 573 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a shaker glass at Laughing Planet

A- Poured a dark mahogany color with a nice frothy off-white head that left glass coating lace

S- Big rich caramel and toffee notes, some cinnamon and vanilla, light cocoa notes

T- Rich caramel and toffee notes, some cherry flavors, breadiness, and light orange peel notes.

M- Smooth, medium body, low carbonation, finished semi-dry

O- Very malt forward and not really any hop presence, which is rare for a Ninkasi beer (even their oatmeal stout is pretty bitter hop bomb).

 532 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 16/12/15

A dark brown with a maroon glow when held to the light, a dump down the middle puts out a finger of foam that sits around for just a few sips but somehow manages to leave lots of random lace

S nutty dark chocolate, hard toffee, raisins, dark bread, some hard to place spice, a malt bomb for sure

T just a hint of cold coffee on top of what I smell, all malt but I suppose that's the goal, intense flavor, simple, strong, and solid

M medium weight, soft carbonation, fine grit, dry finish with nutty chocolate

O didn't really know what to expect but I rather enjoyed this one, a nice break from all the hop bombs I've been putting in my face lately

I bought this one for the label but its working well with this chilly afternoon, well worth a try if your ion a malty mood

 825 characters

Photo of DamDweller
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ninkasi Sleighr Ale, 2010

Pour a dark dark brown color with a small cream colored head. Smells like nutty chocolate with a hint of mint. The taste is strong on chocolate and hops. It seems more like a porter than an altbier. The nutty smell isn't really there on the tongue as would be expected from an altbier while it also has strong carbonation. The mouthfeel is great. It drinks very clean and crisp. The sweet chocolate lingers on the tongue well.

 453 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tuttle for breaking this out the night before Hopfest! Went into it thinking, ah, I dunno, not my style/thing, but figured, hey, good friend, opening beers, love Ninkasi, made it easy to go along.

Poured out a rich dark brown and red, but with ample clarity given its deep color. Very interesting aroma, maybe just because of the Christmas theme, I was getting caramel nuttiness, cinammon, taragon, tobacco, pepper, spice/clove. Really deep.

Taste, so much easier than I thought it would be. And more sweetness, but never becoming a 'sweet' beer, ample malt bill and other ingredients seemed to tame this bad boy. Nothing about hops to talk about. About the dryest finish of a beer of this style/vibe I've come around, not heavy, creamy at times, not super challenging, just lots to pick up on. Unique. When the wave of smooth and creamy hits you, you start wondering if there is some flaked oats used in this. Whatever they did, it was enjoyable.

Of course, it looks like a winter seasonal, we drank it in September, so i dunno if this aged and mellowed or whatnot, because that split bomber is my only insight, so I guess at the very least I can say this beer does just fine aged up to 9 months.

 1,211 characters

Photo of jpbebeau
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip; I don't have a slender cylinder.

A: Pours a very dark reddish-brown, with only the faintest bit of translucency to accentuate the color. A finger's worth of head quickly dissipates, leaving several soap-like bubbles clinging to the edge. Faint carbonation ever so slightly disturbs the surface at the center. As the volume of liquid decreases, more light is let through and an attractive orange hue reveals itself. Perhaps if I'd had a Stange I could've enjoyed the color through the whole glass.

S: Sweet malts, dark fruit—raisins. Mild, though.

T: Malts give way to sweet dark fruits, and the finish clings to my upper palate: hoppy, here. As the beer warms, the hops calm and I pick up a flavor of orange peel to accompany the color.

M: Refreshing amount of carbonation and not too heavy or thick; all pleasant surprises.

O: Really enjoyable after warming a bit; it'll be nice to work through the six-pack during these dark evenings.

 967 characters

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark browned amber. A finger of thick tanned head that leaves small webby organic laces.

Roasty and dark, nutty, sweet caramel, smoke, pine, and dark cherries.

Toasty caramel, earthy and smokey, a little nutty. Spicy and herbal pine. Nice bite of bitterness. warming.

Sticky, dry, and smooth. a little chewy. well carbonated.

Great tasty warmer that goes down very well. Good balance with a nice hop rush.

 410 characters

Photo of utopiajane
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely brown with ruby tint to it. A head of tan foam that fell fast. Nose is a pleasant malt that smells dry and deep. It has the beginings of what might have been dark fruit but it was forbidden. So tempting with it's sweetness and rich scents. Perfect clarity form this beer. It glows softly from within to sport those garnet hues like a hidden gem deep within the beer. Malt is rich and extends beyond the beers time on the palate. it seems to go on forever. It has a dry crispness in and of itself it has a bit of bitterness in the finish. caramel is laid under the dry malt. it's as though the heartier aspects wanted to be up front and so they stayed there. It has a medium mouthfeel and it is appropriately thin on the palate. It is not weighted down or heavy even though the malt is substantial. it finishes dry and with that bitterness that is a bit of a surprise but it makes you smile. The richness has abated for a moment, like it's toying with you. This is a lovely altbier and I think it's one of the best american alts I have had. It's clean and crisp. Relatively bitter

 1,106 characters

Photo of psychoholicagogo
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with mildly off white head. Retention is medium. Malt forward flavor profile with hints of dark fruit and bread plus mild tobacco notes. Bitterness is medium, lingering well into a dry finish. The hop character is very subdued in both aroma and flavor, but is apparent though balanced throughout. A good drinker, but not session material at 7.2%

 364 characters

Photo of josephandbrown
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle pour into an American pint glass.

Sleigh'r pours a nice dark brown color with a frothy head. It has a rich, malty smell that doesn't really translate that much into the taste. There is a good malt flavor, but the bittering aftertaste keeps it from being an overly sweet beer. It's pretty strongly carbonated, which I like, and the bitter aftertaste stays in the mouth long after a sip. Are we using umami for beer yet? Because Sleigh'r has some serious savory undertones.

Overall, a very solid beer. Sleigh'r is my favorite standard Oregon holiday brew.

 568 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark altbier. Looks almost like a porter, but a little more brown in the body.

Malty, almost smoky in the nose. Slightly sweet. Nice, roasted taste with a bit of smokiness and coffee to it. Faint hints of chocolate and caramel. Very light and enjoyable.

Light in the mouth, but fitting for the style. A nice dark take on the alt style.

 342 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to flexabull for this one.

A - Deep brown with ruby hues when held to the light. Not much of a head but a few wisps of lace remain.

S - Malty, toasted bread, nutty with some light chocolate and fruit.

T - Very malty and while the hops aren't noticeable they keep it from being too sweet. Rich caramel and toffee, almost a burnt toast flavor, nutty, chocolate with some light fruit.

M - All that malt flavor feels a little heavy at first but it drinks on the light side. Medium carbonation with a slightly chalky finish.

D - Nice alt for how big this beer is. I was afraid it might be a bit sweet but it is nicely balanced.

 634 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark red-black with a finger of frothy slightly off-white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of dark, lightly roasted malts, dark fruits, chocolate, with some spices and some lemon and noble hops.

T - Starts off with a mix of dark fruits, dark malts, some molasses, and a touch of spice. Through the middle, some roasted character and chocolate comes through with some noble hop flavor. The finish is a mix of roasted dark malts, dark fruit, chocolate, some spices, and some alt yeast esters.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and a touch syrupy with a sweet and roasty finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nicely balanced Double Altbier. Nice malty backbone with some dark fruit, chocolate, and yeast character to balance.

 811 characters

Photo of Flightoficarus
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to trying this one!

A - Pours a deep, dark brown (almost black), with a two-finger off-white head. Head retention and lacing is on the creamy/thick side.

S - Alot going on here! Caramel, molasses, cocoa, nuttiness, a hint of fruits (orange, cherry), and subtle hops.

T - Superbly balanced. Taste is of roasted, cocoa/coffee like malts with some nutty and smoked/peat like tones (like a scotch ale), and finishes with a bouquet of subtle, floral hops. Right around the middle ground between malty and hoppy.

M - Medium bodied and light carbonation, with a semi-bready texture to it.

D - Pretty drinkable for 7.2%, but I still wouldn't session it.

Overall - A nice little gem in the winter ale/altbier categories, and with a rad name to boot! If you're looking for a solid, balanced beer that's on the darker side without being quite as bitter/roasted tasting as a porter or stout, you'll enjoy this one.

 933 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:Poured a deep, dark brown with a small dirty white head

S: Caramelized sugar, toasted malt and a fruitcake

T: Some cocoa, caramel, toffee, hints at coffee, some cherries.

M: Well carbonated, nice feel, slight booze feel but pretty mellow isnce this a 2009 vintage.

O: Pretty drinkable for 7.2 ABV

 304 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light brown color with off-white head. Caramel malt, roast, nuts, and a slight dark fruit on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with roast and caramel notes.

 195 characters

Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle from John's Marketplace PDX poured into Chimay chalice 12/30/09.

Dark brown body, a bit of chill haze, substantial off white head, slow dissipation, an impressive looking beer. The nose is quite malty, a bit more sweet than bready, not much hop presence to speak of. The taste is the same as nose, with a slight smokiness, and some caramel malts, pretty well balanced. The finish is a bit bitter, was wondering when the hops would appear, pretty viscuous. Mouthfeel features significant carbonation. Drinkable yes (though a bit boozy for the style,more of a sipper than a quaffer), memorable no. To be honest, the second best Christmas beer from Eugene I've had this year, after Oakshire's Ill Tempered Gnome.

 724 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark reddish brown with an off-white, finger width head. Good retention. Leaves a nice, sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell - Sweet aroma, consisting of caramel, toffee, fig, and slight toasted malts.

Taste - More hoppy on the tongue than in the nose. Toasted bread, with lesser notes of caramel and toffee. Fruity esters, hitting on fig, then a nice citrus hop comes through mid-taste and takes the reigns for the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with a bit of stickiness. Fair carbonation. Finishes dry.

Overall - This is a solid winter seasonal, though I'm a bit perplexed at labeling this a "double alt" when I've had standard alts with just as much flavor and ABV. Still, I'm enjoying the brew, and may be a future purchase.

 751 characters

Photo of sam_bliss
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber

A- I think this is a very pretty beer. Super dark but translucent red. Looked almost black but the red comes through when held up to the light. A thick off-white head dissipated rather slowly.

S- As the head dissipated, sweet malts come through with a bit of sprucey hop freshness.

T- Caramel, chocolate, and other sweet malts, with just a bit of smokiness. Surprisingly well balanced for such a malty beer. Fruity in a good way.

M- Pretty thick on the palate. Low carbonation and just a bit of stickiness. Just the right amount of warmth for a Christmas beer.

O- I love it. Tastes hoppier than I would expect from a dark double atlbier (though I've never had an ale described exactly like that before this), but less bitter than the IBU rating had me bracing for - this hoppiness works brilliantly for such a sweet beer.

 856 characters

Photo of DanielDomigan
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fucking metal holiday artwork

copper color sparkling lacing around snifter

no smell really at all some maltyness

in the beginning sweet chocolate roasty taste with slight cherry hints and caramel malt hidden within and then a hoppy bitter finish

light syrupy mouth feel with light carbonation

defiantly a beer worthy of slayers name

 341 characters

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As far as I can remember, this is one of my favorite Ninkasi beers, but I haven't had it in a while, and the brewery has expanded a lot over the last couple of years. A interesting (and aggressive) pour yields a one and a half finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is about half creamy and fluffy looking and half somewhat soapy and bubbly, but that is probably due to the aggressive pour. The head is an extremely light brown, maybe even more off-white than light brown, that's how light it is. The lacing looks like it will be great, but we will have to see for sure as I get down the glass. The head retention was pretty good, it hung around for quite some time. Now, after about 5 minutes, I still have some bubbles on top of the body. The body is very dark, but for sure not black. It has some black in it, but also brown and ruby. Visibility is zero. I can't really see the carbonation due to the color. Overall it's a nice body, slightly unique for a winter beer - having red in it and all, but then again I'm not familiar with the style. Either way it's still a good look. We will see how the lacing goes, but this is a good looking beer so far. On the nose I get just a wonderful malt smell. Very full, rich, deep malt aroma. Roasty and chocolatey too. Perhaps a touch of coffee on the nose as well. Not a whole lot in the way of hops, and frankly not a whole lot other than the great malt smell. It's a solid 4, but a few other aromas could go a long way. With that being said, it still smells great. Yeah, this is a nice beer, pretty close to what I remember too. You get that nice, chocolatey malt flavor up front. Frankly it's not as dominating as I was expecting, which is a little disappointing, but it's not the end of the world. It's also extremely sweet, malty sweet. I like the sweetness, but it may be a hair too much. Not much going on in the way of hops at all. A little bit of spices perhaps, there seems to be something other than delicious malts going on here. Kind of like a cinnamon vibe. I doubt it's cinnamon that's in here, but something in that realm. This beer is more than just your average winter beer, but just by a little bit. I don't think it has enough to be a 4.5. It's a solid 4, but let it be known that it's a little more than just a nice malty beer. The mouthfeel isn't bad. It's slightly thinnger than I would like, but it's not bad. It for sure has some thickness to it, just not quite as thick as I want in a hearty winter beer. The carbonation is for sure low, but that works in a winter beer. It may be a hair lower than it should be, but overall it's good for the style. It has a slightly creamy feel to the mouth as well. Even though I really like the mouthfeel, it does have some areas it needs to improve on. It's really right in between a 3.5 and a 4. The lack of carbonation and body makes me want to give this beer a 3.5 for feel. However, the carbonation and body are both very close to being spot on, and I really like the slight creaminess, and really the overall feel, enough to give it a 4. For being 7.2% ABV, this beer is DAMN drinkable! I would have never guessed this beer was 7.2% if the bottle didn't say it. It really drinks like a 5.5% or a 6% beer, great drinkability. Overall it's a solid beer. Not the most amazing beer ever, but for sure one I will have again. There really isn't anything wrong with the flavor at all, it just doesn't have enough pizzazz to be more than a good beer. So, overall, it's a good beer.

The flavor really started to get sweet. The malts still played a big role, but I would say that the sweetness may have become more dominant.

The appearance turned out to be...eh, not bad. The lacing was there, but it wasn't that pretty. It was somewhat patchy and EXTREMELY soapy and bubbly. It didn't look like your average lacing at all, rather - worse than average. I'm not quite sure how to grade this because the head was nice. The body wasn't really amazing, but better than average I supposed, for sure unique regardless. The lacing wasn't bad, just...not my cup of tea. I'm going to give it a 3.5 for appearance. I could give it a 4 but...I wouldn't say I've cut this beer any breaks, but there have been a few grades that I gave a 4 to instead of a 3.5 already.

 4,271 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a ruddy amber, a little like a darker, cloudy apple cider.

The cinder comparison is apt, as hints of it come across the flavor profile. (I’m thinking of Michigan cider, warmed with cinnamon, not hard cider.) There’s hints of cinnamon and cloves, as well as a hop profile that reminds me of pine sap and squeezed grapefruit.

It’s a unique one, and it’s tasty—not your typical holiday ale!

 409 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter brew fun continues here! Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Color is reddish-brown, complete with a nicely placed 2 finger head when poured semi-aggressively. Carbonation seems to glide in droves to the top of the glass. Not much lacing overall, and the head dies down rather quickly. It is a seasonal looking beer for sure, but it's definitely an odd combo overall in presentation.

The aroma consists of strong malted aromas combined with dark fruits (often resembling blackberries), honey, brown sugar (and LOTS of it), as well as a hoppy backdrop that is reminiscent of English bitters but still contains the West Coast zest. The doubled malt recipe is pretty obvious even here, but it definitely has a more malty flavor than bready. I realize this beer is also heavily spiced, but I can't find very many spices here except for maybe peppers and medicinal herbs of sorts. It's far better cold, but definitely not too bad even when it warms up!

As expected, the extreme maltiness of this beer seems to only come around as it warms up gradually. I do like the initial hoppy flavor that attacks the palate, as it reminds me of an extremely dry, orange peel concoction. The finish becomes exponentially malty as it is affected by temperature, but on the other hand, the yeasty aromas I liked seem to disappear as well. The caramelized honey flavors jump at you pretty strongly, and this goes well with its syrupy body. There's no overpowering spices to speak of here, and for a winter release, this is surprisingly drinkable and works better than most spice-infused winter releases I've had so far.

This may be too malty for me (and not yeasty enough, which is what I enjoy most in "dubbel" styled beers), but it isn't bad at all, especially when consumed chilled. Warmed up is a different story altogether, but I'll probably have another for the holidays. Worth a try, as it's quite experimental in some ways.

 1,930 characters

Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 563 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!