S1nist0r Black Ale | 10 Barrel Brewing Co.

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S1nist0r Black AleS1nist0r Black Ale
S1nist0r Black AleS1nist0r Black Ale

Brewed by:
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Oregon, United States

Style: German Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We craft our S1NIST0R Black Ale using a special German dehusked black malt that is free of astringency, giving the beer a rich black color without the traditional dark beer characteristics. You will notice subtle hints of chocolate with an easy drinking balance on the back end. In the glass the dark color may look intimidating to some, but don't let this beer fool you. Our unique combination of malts creates a very light body and smooth finish.

28 IBU

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 234
Photo of kotocar
4.72/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It’s a dark beer that goes down like a lager. Crisp, bubbly, and flavorful. Malty! I’ve been drinking too many IPA’s that I forgot how much I like malty beers. I wish I had more.

Taste is that of semi sweet chocolate and a somewhat dry finish. I’m also pick up a bit of captain crunch.

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Photo of jwc215
3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle:

Pours dark brown to black with a lasting tan head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted coffee, milk chocolate with a touch of dark earthy notes.

The taste is of sweet dark malt (chocolate) with pumpernickel bread and a touch of dark fruit/earthy spicing. Restrained coffee roast in the balanced finish.

It is light-bodied. Pretty smooth.

An ale version of a decent schwarzbier.

The taste is

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Photo of puck1225
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(From notes) had it on tap during recent Portland visit. Very dark brown color with a thin head but nice lacing. Smell of dark chocolate. The taste is of dark chocolate with some coffee and a bit of lemon. Malty but refreshing, sort of a mild Porter.

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Photo of anon
3.04/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First go from this brewery. Pour appears black until the light hits, giving off a deep Ruby/Brown hue, accompanied by a very thin head that fades quite fast, along with very minimal lace.

Smells of roasted grains, malt and caramel. Some vanilla as it warms. Following through on the taste spectrum is roasted grain, malts and caramel, accompanied by faint chocolate and grass. Some light banana from the yeast. Slightly nutty. Very thin and close to watery; gives off an almost dark soda-like feel. Smooth, dry.

This one, for me, missed out on the rich, deep roasty aspect that I love in the Schwarzbier style. I can see they went for a different take on this one, but the styles seemed to clash and cause it to fall short. Not a bad beer, but there are a plethora of better ones of this style out there. Still grateful to try this one. Cheers.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sampled, free of charge, on my return flight from Seattle. This has everything I look for in a Schwarzbier - nice, roasted malt - traces of cocoa and cola. The active carbonation is a bit off-putting, but not completely out of character for the style. If this was available where I live, it would probably be part of my regular rotation.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 2/11/16.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, roasted nut, cocoa powder, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, dark fruit, cocoa powder, earth, and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that smells solid, but the flavors clash together somewhat to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of gandres
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle to wine glass
A: Black/ very dark Brown small brown head, goes away quickly, lacing
A: not a lot, roasted grains, nuts
T: lightly bitter
P|MF: lively carbonation lingers in roof of tongue, abrupt finish
OA: good black ale, ok to repeat, not to look for
Drank: April 20, 2016

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Nice dark brown/black color. Head is off-tan with hints of red (!)

Slightly malty scent. Fine. Not intense.

Not a lot of flavor - empty on the midpalate. Nothing offensive, just - nuthin. Slightly bitter, maybe some hints of pears... but really, subtle.

Feel is not very rich, lighter than the color suggests, more carbonation than I prefer.

Finish is clean, not intense.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated bomber at 42 degrees into snifter
$ 5/bomber at Blackwell’s
Aroma of roasted malt, lasts
Head small (two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to two mm ring and partial layer
Lacing fair – small segments of narrow rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor weak, roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of josiahschlender
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the beers in a mixed pack from 10 Barrel that I picked up. I'm wondering about the name... isn't Schwarzbier a lager? Why call it an ale? I've always wondered that about Dead Guy, too. I personally like it when breweries in this area of the country branch out and brew interesting lagers; if anything I'm more likely to grab one off the shelf if it looks different than the run of the mill ales around it.

It pours dark brown but allows more light through than most brews of this color. Not much head faded quickly and leaves scant lace. Looks like black coffee to me, actually.

Nose is pleasant but faint. A big inhale yields something kind of bready, yeasty and sweet that reminds me of overnight waffles that my wife makes with yeast leavening, with syrup on top.

Flavors are also pleasant and understated. Bready malts with sweetness like molasses and faintly earthy hops. Low carbonation and light body is a good mouthfeel match to the flavors. This is the only non-IPA in the mixed pack from 10 Barrel, and it's a nice change of pace from the hops. (But Joe IPA was my favorite overall.)

10 Barrel must have been in a quirky mood when naming this beer. Not only is "Ale" in the name puzzling to me since I believe this is a lager, a play on "sinister" doesn't fit either. This is a mild-mannered, easy going drink that would play nice with a variety of food.

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Photo of Purplehat
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great. Smooth with enough bite at the back end, which makes it very refreshing. After trying roughly 15 different beers at The Growler Guys grand opening in Idaho, this was the growler I chose

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Photo of hreb
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

S1nist0r Black Ale. A schwarz bier fermented with ale yeast -- or, as previously stated, a black ale. Perhaps a black Kölsch would be a better description. 22oz bottle served in a curved stout glass. Beer pours on the brown side of black, with a thin tan head, and yields a mild, malty aroma. Flavor is mild and fizzy. Like, a lot mild, though what flavors there are (nutty, hazelnut) are pleasant enough, except for the high carbonation this could be a legitimate session ale.

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Photo of BastardKing24
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with little to no head. A film of bubbles resides on the top with a ring. Decent.

Smell is of, well a slight roastiness, coffee, maybe some dark sweet fruit. Kind of like cola really.

Taste is very relaxed for a dark beer. This one doesn't jump out at you at all, it's subtle.
I like this a lot, although I was hoping for more hops. I didn't expect a bomb of a beer such as Lagunitas nighttime, since this was only 5.7% I can see the appeal in this beer as its velvety and roasty in such a quaint manner, that you forget your drinking a black ale at all.

Mouthfeel is about average. Kind of slick, but finishes dry as far as I can tell. Medium carb.

Overall this is not something I would buy over and over, but its a nice beer to sip while maybe smoking some nice herb (I'm in OR its legal). A decent brew that would please a newcomer to craft brews.

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Photo of ThaCrax
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was expecting an aggressive Black Ale... so that didn't work out for me lol. This was like a sheep in wolves clothing to me. Intimidating exterior, but tame and mild in reality. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I was looking for either.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging. The head is khaki colored and peaks at just under a finger's width. Retention is average at best, giving way to a broken layer of surface suds. Lacing is small and spotty with little stick.

Smell - Light notes of roasted malt and some cola-like sweetness. Hints of milk chocolate.

Taste - Follows the nose. General malt sweetness with hints of cola, chocolate, and very light coffee roast. Subtle notes of fruity esters and maybe even a hint of vanilla and anise in there. A light, 'brightly dark' flavor profile, if that makes any sense.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Lightly silky texture, delivering a smooth, easy drinking experience.

Overall - Pretty good black lager / scharzbier, especially condsidering the style. It's a difficult style to pull off, IMO, because it doesn't quite excel in any particular area. This one has some uniqueness, and it's undoubtedly due to the ale yeast used. Don't go out of your way for it, but definitely something to try if readily available.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Body looks like coca cola: not quite as thick or as deep as is my ideal (hey - sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Leave it alone). Gets a deep mahogany/ruby towards the corners. Pillowy dark tan head sticks around leaving great remembrances of its passing.

Aroma is mainly what you'd expect: roasty bordering on burnt, maybe a touch of ash, leading into a bit of acerbic finish. I almost get a touch of vinegar, that I'm hoping is more related to the recently washed windows than the beer,a but I"m not convinced.

Given my impressions of the nose, it's surprisingly smoothe and light once it hits your tongue. Comes on easy with a creamy (both in feel and flavour) approach that toys with the idea of going bitter about halfway through, teasing the tastebuds (had to put the alliteration in there somewhere...), but never fully commits, sticking more towards lighter roasty notes and that impressively smoothe soft body. Not as thin as I expected either, more just lusciously soft but still thick, like a body pillow. It still stays with the roasted grains as promised, but the ashy bitter note is much more subdued on the palate than on the nose (though it still comes through in a pleasantly surprising bitter/dry finish that lingers.

I wasn't sure what to expect approaching this one, and I clearly didn't read the description on the bottle which clearly identifies it as being a modified schwarzbier as opposed to the CDA I was anticipating. This is not a bad thing: far from it. While I don't have a ton of experience with schwarzbiers and they're not my favourite style (especially in the dark category), this one is enjoyable. I was wary as I began my decent into it, but by the finish it demonstrated something I didn't even know I was looking for. Tasty. Try it.

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Photo of Bookseeb
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a very dark brown color supporting a healthy dissipating head leaving nil lace. Smell of the roasted malt with slight dark chocolate and coffee. Taste of the roasted malt giving it a slight bitter astringency with a light sour note. Moutfeel is medium light with good carbonation.

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Photo of mactrail
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown, near black in the Belgian chalice. Persistently creamy carbonation in the mouth is the nicest feature. There's a touch of the charred sourness in the nose.

A black marshmallow of a beer. Interesting grainy but smooth taste. The malty sweetness is pleasant, more like a Hefeweizen without the esters. Some slight bitterness woodiness at the finish, but not any actual hop flavors. Lots of roasted taste, even a bit of pecan. All quite warm and unobtrusive with just a hint of cocoa.

This is plenty drinkable, though a little flabby somehow. If this is a Schwartzbier, it's still better than most. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Central Market - Shoreline in north Seattle.

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Photo of stevoj
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not too far removed from a dunkel/tmavy, pours almost black (very dark brown), thin beige head, roast/smoky aroma, some oak barrel/wood notes. Taste is also mostly roast grains, for an IPA, hops are in the background, almost an afterthought. Good dark beer, but tough to classify.

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Photo of nqdell
4.56/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

5 Star beer that may not be perfect for every occasion but is an anomaly of perfection.

Appearance - Read the label, think Spanish coffee.

Smell - Least strongest attribute, but who cares it's winter and you're sinus' are plugged.

Taste - Words so fancy my vocabulary doesn't do justice , sweet and bitter, liquid crunch 'n munch.

Mouthfeel - Like my tongue jumped on a pile of pillows.

Overall - A drinkable "winter" beer. In a category by itself and won't compare to overbearing , stomach filling, fancy spiced constituents. It truly is one of a kind.

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Photo of kagent777
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber that I picked up in Pocatello on the way back from Yellowstone. Poured into my beer goblet.

Appearance: Black with an off white cap of head. It sticks around through out the glass, the lacing sticks around as well.

Smell: A touch of roast and some cocoa, but mostly I get fruity yeast. I wonder what strain they use. Seriously, the nose is almost tropical fruity.

Taste: The taste is a mild overall flavor. The darkness of the beer does not translate to the taste, in the way one might expect. No roast or stout flavors. Smooth easy drinking with a medicinal or minty even aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium soft carbonation. Has a slick sort of feel to it.

Overall: This beer is truly mixed up and does not fit a style, but it is quite tasty. I would seek this one again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured jet black with good caronation leaving a nice creamy white cap. A decent amount of lacing is present and the head retention is pretty good.

S: A light char with some chocolate. This style is not known to have a big aromatic nose.

T: Immediate chocolate with a light roast and some deeply charred wood, ash even. It finishes pretty dry with a very light booziness

M: Light to light-medium body, well carbonated. This beer has less bitterness than you get from many thers of this style. Its pretty silky smooth, low astringency and very palatable

O: A very nice Schwarz. Not my style but I can spot a good one and this is pretty good. Easy to drink, by the books. I requested the style be changed to properly reflect the style of the beer, Its not a CDA, or a Black IPA or as somewhat called it ..."brown ale". Its a German lager aka a Schwarzbier. Geez, do some homework people.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head which has some retention that seems to increase as time passes. Lacing is spotty at the moment. The head is beige color while the body is a dark chestnut brown which shows patches of maroon when held up to the light. Almost a black ale but not quite.

Nose- Fairly subdued. Caramel has some presence from the bottle but is much weaker from the glass. There are some roasted malts, weak coffee, and a touch of smoke. After some swirling, the glass displays a bubblegum note that is quickly replaced by the roasted scents.

Taste- Roasted malts and weak coffee are the first aspects I note and honestly, that's about it. There's some light citrus but not much else. This has a very dull flavor profile. The 10 Barrel website says this has 38 IBUs but I get nothing close to that “much” bitterness. Every aspect of the palate is weak and the best thing I can say about this beer is that there are no off flavors. It certainly has nothing in common with beers I've had in the style and would be better regarded as a Euro Dark Lager. Some of the bubblegum I detected on the nose is showing itself. At best, this is an average beer. After a few minutes, some more coffee and bitterness is showing itself but not enough to become more than mediocre.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied. Maybe a little too much carbonation. Hints of smoothness and creaminess.

Drinkability- Very easygoing. No off flavors and no dominant aspects and no heat make it very sessionable. Not too bad of a price- around $3.50 a bomber.

Overall- Mediocre beer. If you like black lagers, this is worth a try. If you want a real black ale (a black IPA or a CDA), then you should ignore this.

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Photo of innersanctum
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sinistor is nothing to be afraid of....

Mellow dark ale reminiscent of a dunkel Weiss. Light cola mouthfeel, slight zest hop flavor, flavorful finish.

Enjoying this outside at the 10 Barrel patio. Great casual scene of locals enjoying craft brew and pizza around their for pit.

This is a real gem!

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is black with red edges and lots of tan head and a few larger bubbles. Nose is dark malt, lightly smoked, light hop presence behind with a bit of herbal green hop behind. Taste is not super expressive, dark black malt that is lightly smoked, the hop isn't as prevalent, still a touch green, bitter coffee towards the finish and lingering. Well carbonated smooth medium body. Not bad.

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S1nist0r Black Ale from 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 234 ratings