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Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale | Ninkasi Brewing Company

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85
very good
169 Reviews
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Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt AleSleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
ninkasibrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
169
Ratings:
569
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
21.49%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
97
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 569
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 NeroFiddled
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Ninkasi Brewing Co. "SLEIGH'R Dark Doüble Alt)
12 oz. brown glass bottle, no freshness dating
$1.99 @ Wegmans, Malvern, PA

You've got to hand it to Ninkasi, they've done a great job with the name and label on this beer. I just couldn't pass it up.

Now, it doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of Altbier, either, and that I've traveled to German, so I can honestly say that in my opinion they've nailed the style.

But what style? Well of course this is a "DOÜBLE" alt ale (I think we can forgive them for the false umlaut because "Sleigh'r" obviously references heavy metal, and they're just joking with it), and the obvious connections would be Zum Uerige's Sticke Alt and Doppelsticke, or even Schumacher's Latzenbier (although not nearly as strong), but what I'm getting at is that the malt and yeast character are correct. You could go back and forth all day doing comparisons and trying to place it, but why bother? It's an alt, and a strong one at that.

It's a very dark mahogany in color, mainly clear, and it displays a short head of tan. The aroma offers notes of plum and other not-so-drescript dark fruits over an almost-burnt sugar-like maltiness (German examples tend to display more noble hops). It's medium bodied and smooth with a fine-bubbled, slightly restrained carbonation (German examples seem to be fuller and a bit more carbonated, even "vom fass"). It's fairly well-hopped at 50 IBUs, with a surprising balance between bitterness and nutty, toasty, and darkly caramelish malts, and notes of roasted, but not acrid, malt also help to balance it. What hops are present in the flavor appear grassy and herbal, and perhaps even spicy (although that might be the 7.2% ABV talking!).

It's really nicely pulled together. Balancing an alt this perfectly can be a challenge, but they've done it, and kept it remarkably drinkable even at 7.2%. Worth trying!

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Photo of gandres
3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From Bottle 12 Oz, poured on a wine glass with diner
Appearance: Color: dark amber clear, minimal head
Taste: Minimal follow through
Smell: Aroma: malty smell with slight wood aroma
Overall:

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a deep amber to light brown color. wonderful garnet hues. a finger or so of an off white head forms. good strong retention and leaves behind a frothy lacing. strong brightness and clarity when held up to the light. a really nice looking beer.

Smell: strong malts, with notes of nuts, caramel, chocolate, and a hint or roastiness. some fruitiness comes through, possibly from yeast or malts, not quite sure.

Taste: opens up with some fruity esters, notes of apples to pear, possibly some dark fruits. malts take over with big notes of chocolate, toasted grains, some nuttiness, and a hint of roastiness. light alcohol presence. hops may play a minor role in some flavors but never apparent enough to pick out individually.

Mouthfeel: nice full malty body. medium to full feel. some chewiness to it. exceptionally smooth and clean. hop bitterness is moderate. slightly warming feel.

Overall: certainly a style that is almost missing from the American craft beer scene, if not my area at the least. This beer does a great job of pushing the boundaries of the style while still keeping close to the things that matter most about it. In my opinion this is what the Sticke is all about. Overall this beer is a great addition to the area and something that will certainly be picked up again.

 1,310 characters

Photo of teromous
3.09/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark brown body that appears black except when held to the light. Good clarity. The head is a short off-white bit of foam that leaves very good lacing.

Aroma: There's a bit of a burnt wood aroma and at times a touch of alcohol comes through.

Taste: There is a sweet toffee flavor that is immediately overpowered by a strong charcoal flavor and a bit of pine sap. There is a bit of the sweet toffee flavor at the end. It has a very harsh edge.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full bodied and bitter.

Overall: The charcoal flavor and bitterness of this beer overpower everything which hampers the flavor and drinkability. If you like big bold roasted beers then this one is for you, but it lacks a lot of complexity and sweetness. I doubt I will buy it again. It's the classic case of a beer that is not particularly bad but is not that enjoyable to drink.

 861 characters

Photo of vladdswrath
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, dark maple brown, with a light tan head that retreats almost immediately but leaves a glorious work of lacing. Aroma is fruit and carmel, sort of feint, but rather pleasant. Taste is sweet, the essence of bananas and malt, slightly cinnamon spiced. Mouth feel is nice, lighter than I expected and exceptionally smooth.

 333 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 TBoneJones
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep mahogany, fairly rich in appearance with a moderate tan head that fades to leave some lacing.
Smells pretty nice actually, with fruity notes largely of sweet pear, banana, and there's also a hint of some spice, light cinnamon/ nutmeg.
Taste is toasty malts, a good balance of hops, underlying dark fruit, and some peppery banana. The pepper note lingers through the finish, leaving a mildly numbing bitterness. What a great balance of sweet and bitter throughout it all. There's a surprising complexity for me here.
Well-carbonated and medium-chewy feel.
This is a terrific departure from the usual over-abundance of certain other styles. A holiday winner.

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Photo of ckornmannn
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 22 oz bottle: deep mahogany color, clear, dense head of foam. Not much on the nose. Malt forward but there is some hops. Nutty. The heat of alcohol for sure. This is a fun winter beer; unique in that there are not many alt biers on the shelf in most places.

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Photo of tzieser
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Clear, dark brown in color with a thick lightly tanned head. A nice looking beer

S: sweet, lightly toasted malt aroma, reminiscent of baked bread with a bit of herbal hops in the background.

T: light malt sweetness with bold roasted malt flavor. Notes of toasted bread and tobacco with a bit of pine bitterness near the end. ABV is well hidden.

M: Excellent mouthfeel with a pleasantly dry finish.

O: a balanced altbier especially when you consider the higher ABV. A good ale well worth a try.

 501 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A little taste of Dusseldorf, here in the NW. Dark brown with foamy beige head, nutty taste and aroma, roast grains, dry finish. It’s an altbier alright, and a pretty good one too.

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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.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I guess this one's technically a "Sticke" what with the slightly higher alcohol content, more robust malt presence, and bolder hop character than is called for in a regular Altbier. Poured this fellow into a "Stange," as this is the suggested appropriate glassware. In my eyes, it would seem more at home in a standard pint, a stein, or even a snifter. No matter, a good ale either way. Its color is a fairly clear copper-brown, reminded me of a scotch ale at first, but then I decided it was a lighter hue than the ruby-brown of that style. The head, from the side, is a uniformly-bubbled, light brown, but becomes whiter, chunkier, and finer towards the top. To me this indicates a relatively high viscosity, with some of the beer's body sticking to the medium-sized bubbles forming the head before trickling down. Head retained well. Aromatically it is definitely akin to a scotch ale, but not on the smokier/peatier side of that style. Just caramelized and toasted malts, some alcohol, and after a few whiffs, calling to mind first molasses, then brown sugar and cocoa. Toasted, somewhat smokey-tart maltiness is the first thing you notice once you finally imbibe. The sweetness is there, but not nearly as much as you might expect from the aroma. There are also notes of something fruity, strongest on the sides of the back of the tongue. Can't quite put my finger on it. With settling; bitter, piney hops balance out, and with swallowing; overcome, the malt character. This rich, smooth, medium- to full-bodied brew, with pleasant carbonation is one I'm glad I became acquainted with. Lots to notice here and I'm sure I missed something.

 1,644 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sampled a pint at Beer Revolution in Calgary. Arrived a dark mahogany brown with a light topcoat of creamy off-white froth.

Compelling aroma that is surprising smoky, fruity, and aromatic. This is an odd beer, stylistically (from a conceptual standpoint) and in practice. Do not read "odd" as unpleasant. I am struck by an initial back bacon smokiness, followed quickly by some salt water taffy and astringent grape skins, raisins, milk chocolate, tart crabapples, dry walnut meat, and a decent boozy note. It should be a train wreck yet somehow this brew manages to meld these disparate elements into something that works. I certainly get some classic alt characteristics, fleshed out by equal parts winter warmer and rauchbier. Medium bodied and similarly mid-range in terms of carbonation. Finishes with a surprising dose of piney hops.

As I stated earlier, a unique hybrid. Nice to see a holiday-themed brew doing something besides adding spices. This beer may not truly understand what it actually is, beyond fairly delicious.

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Photo of mobrado
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great looking beer. Glowing dark brown with a creamy off-white head. A decent Winter seasonal, but MUCH stronger and hoppier than a real Alt. Considering the seasonal competition, I wouldn't get it again though.

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Photo of Sirwootalot
4.26/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from memory; served in a red solo cup and shared profusely.

Pours a deep, dark nut-brown with a thin lacy head. Tasted just plain awesome, with thick, sweet notes of molasses and malt with a refreshing evergreen hop bite. Went down smooth and easy despite the ABV. I didn't get to try a whole lot of it for myself, but I'm glad I didn't give it all away!

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Photo of arizcards
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine in late October for $4.99. Bottled on 10-3-2014.

Beer poured brown with a nice off white head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is malty, some hints of toasted grains.

Taste is bold but very well balanced. Sweet toasted malts are balanced nicely by citrus and floral hops.

Mouthfeel is medium to full and smooth.

Overall this is a nice seasonal. Unfortunately I did not see that this comes in a sixer format. Will definitely pick up a sixer for next year!

 508 characters

Photo of PayDay
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

To me this drinks more like a strong ale than an alt. Really enjoyable and the malty sweetness and slight hoppiness paired very well with the halibut I had it with. I've gotten out of the habit of buying Ninkasi, but this was leftover from a six pack that my son in law had bought, so I'm glad he left it! I'd definitely buy this once in a while during the winter season.

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Photo of Svingjo
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This seasonal release poured a nice dark brown. It's nose was a slight nuttiness with a hint of molasses. Strong coffee flavour with some caramel in the mouth as well as some hoppiness that wasn't very prevalent on the nose.

 224 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ninkasi's Sleigh'r, dark double alt ale. 7.2% ABV.

A: Hmm. Not as dark as I expected! Deep plum red, with fluffy of white head. Reminds me of a Santa suit, in that sense. How apropos! Just a slight bit of lacing. A hint of sheeting. Deep yellow, almost grey-looking, in the dimple.

S: Toasted cereal grain and a slight char make up most of the nose. Slight grassy/earthy hop. Hint of lime. Maybe a touch of cranberry?

T/MF: The hops take over a bit, but there's an almost balancing earthy cocoa flavor. I would like it better balanced the opposite direction, but this is not bad. Finishes reintroduces a bit of that toasted cereal grain into the mix.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle - more Christmas goodies to get through, before that swath of Beer Advent Calendars does me in, come December. Oh, I do loves me some thoroughly unnecessary umlauts!

This beer pours a clear, dark red brick amber hue, with two Santa's belt-worthy fingers of densely foamy, puffy, and rocky ecru head, which leaves some decent bands of cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bready, crackery caramel malt, biscuity toffee, dry cocoa powder, edgy black domestic and Middle Eastern fruit (sounds better than plum and fig, eh?), wet ash, thin red wine must, brown sugar extract, and weirdly prominent leafy, earthy, and weedy hops. The taste is much more sharply hop-oriented - the metallic leafy, underripe melon and citrus, and wet pine needle sort - before that heady grainy, bready, and biscuity caramel malt pops its head up, alongside a reduced dark fruitiness, needling spiciness, a touch of benign yeast, hints of cold coffee grounds, and a sidling booze warming.

The carbonation is fairly understated, with a bare, unassuming frothiness for the most part, the body an adequate medium weight, and a bit too cutting on the high and side palates to be deemed particularly smooth. It finishes less sweet than I was expecting - the alcohol, dry maltiness, and strangely subsumed spices ruling the day.

A strange, and very American re-telling of an old European story - y'know, boozing and hopping up an Altbier, not to mention trying to pass it off as a holiday seasonal. Well, they seem to have succeeded on all fronts, as despite this one's weird astringency, it still goes down well in the face of snowfalls and stupidly overcrowded shopping expeditions alike. Oh, and I suppose I can let some "Bloodline" roll, in honour of punny names everywhere.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Beyond brilliant clarity, but very weak head-so it's a push there. Dark amber/copper.

S: Alluringly rich aroma. Chocolate and caramel with light fruity esters that I'd have to identify as fig and grape. They work in combination and seem very festive.

M: Medium body. A little harsher than smooth, but not unpleasant. Moderately high carbonation. Rising astringency.

T: High malt character. Some dark fruit flavors and perfume from hops. Kola nut flavor really reminds me of Christmas, but just because of those Coca-Cola cans. Still, this beer works psychologically. Probably not as good as the rating suggests. Earthy flavors and very nut-like finish. Slight metallics really linger in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Bradley_BizKutZ
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Malty and earthy from what I'm guessing is noble hops. Not my normal style of beer I would choose but I got it because I was going to a slayer concert. It was a hit with all the people going. I think it was more on the novelty of it, but it was a fun beer to try.

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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

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Photo of Auraan
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Poured a clear, deep brown body with reddish tint when held to light and a one finger bubbly off-white head. A very nice looking, true to form altbier. Scents of rich, sweet malt, light fruity esters reminiscent of apple and grape and a medium level of Noble hop perfume, floral and spicy, especially pepper, aromas. Overall impression of aroma is of a classic, very well executed Dusseldorf Altbier that hits the style exactly. Extremely well done. Flavor begins moderately bitter with a floral and perfume-like Noble hop presence evident, a light fruitiness that matches the aroma and a medium-light level of sweet malt. This moves into a middle with the same Noble hop character, but adds a more pronounced and complex malt flavor that is sweet and slightly bready in character. Fruity ester flavors are still present, still light and still apple with a bit of grape. Finish is medium-dry with a moderate Noble hop character and prominent hop bitterness, light fruity esters of apple, light toasted malt and nuttiness and a clean finish. Aftertaste is moderately bitter with a medium-light presence of sweet, bready, grainy and biscuity malt flavors. Overall impression of flavor is of a nicely done Dusseldorf Altbier that trends towards the bitter end of the style, yet fits it quite nicely. Well executed and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of an excellent and true to form Dusseldorf Altbier. Overall this is a good Altbier. It is very true to style and pleasant in aroma, flavor and mouthfeel. It is a nicely done, aromatic, flavorful ale and quite nice.

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Sleigh'r Dark Doüble Alt Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 569 ratings.
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