S1nist0r Black Ale
10 Barrel Brewing Co.

S1nist0r Black AleS1nist0r Black Ale
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Style:
Lager - Schwarzbier
Ranked #138
ABV:
5.7%
Score:
83
Ranked #40,635
Avg:
3.65 | pDev: 11.51%
Reviews:
74
Ratings:
234
From:
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  7
Gots
  44
SCORE
83
Good
S1nist0r Black AleS1nist0r Black Ale
Notes: 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
Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 234 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by msubulldog25:
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msubulldog25 from Oregon

3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this on-tap at Laughing Planet in The Pearl at lunch today; not my first encounter, just the most recent. Pint glass, after a slice of pizza at neighboring Hot Lips.

I added this beer and, yeah, that's REALLY how they spell it...numbers replacing letters, so cute...

A: dark, dark brown - falls short of 'black'; has a faint reddish tint. Poured with a short head, maybe a quarter-finger(?). Fades rapidly to a swirl of film and clinging ring.

S: Husky aroma of dry grains and a notable smokiness. Kind of a 'smoky ashtray', not necessarily bad.

T: Bready malt, toasted to the point of being akin to 'burnt'. Caramel lends a sweetness, some spicier wheat, twist of lemon. The type of beer style (as mentioned in Reddiamond's first review, 'Cascadian Ale') that's a new flavor - intriguing enough for more. Roasted nuts and a cocoa residue in the finish.

M: Just a little thin, not watery. Surprisingly 'refreshing', a modest crispness and carbonation.

D: Tasty and 'sessionable' (though not beholden to the strictest definition). Have enjoyed, if not raved about, this beer whenever I've had it; certainly worth a try.

Jul 14, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps from Washington

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.

Aug 10, 2014
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Haybeerman from Colorado

3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 03, 2016
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dgilks from Australia

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colour with a fluffy tan head. Fair head retention.

Deep roast flavour with bitter chocolate and some coffee. Good.

Dark and roasty with a touch of fruitiness and tart roast.

Medium light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A nice, sessionable Black Ale. Solid.

Oct 05, 2011
Photo of jsanmarco
jsanmarco from England

3.24/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

May 22, 2016
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Beerasaurus from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Aug 28, 2014
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TheSixthRing from California

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.

Jan 17, 2015
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RHVC59 from Oregon

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Feb 02, 2014
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jaydoc from Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Sep 07, 2013
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Docer from Washington

3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Heard a lot about 10 barrel brewing... missed a tasting at The BeerMongers... and have always seen this Sinister Black bottle around. Finally snagged one up to try... why this as the more common 10 barrel sold around I am wondering?

- Poured into a tall and narrow Hopworks pint mug... can still barely see through it.... very dark brown and clear... minimal head and carbonation in the pour. Leaves a rather light pillow of head.

- Spicy and herbal hop flare on the nose... very pine-like, and very hop-like... the hops I like. Subtle sweet grain notes, light chocolate malt... and oats.

- Smooth balanced lightly sweetened grainy choco brew with a nice slam of bittering and zesty hops.... smooth, and yet robust. Quite tasty... and I bet this would be wonderful on tap.

- Light to medium bodied.... smooth, little chewy... overall pleasant.

- This is quite good, balanced, and tasty.... caught me a tad off guard... especially after reading some of the previous reviews. I am seeing that some are just not very fair. This brew deserves more credit!

Mar 29, 2010
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zeledonia from Washington

2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Camping out in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, and I picked this up at a little gas station convenience store. My first beer from this brewery. Tasted 19 July 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours dark chocolatey brown, with an abundant thick pillowy medium-tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Very nice.

Smell is nice as well, an interesting blend of light-bodied but deep-flavored chocolate malts with a touch of floral hops, and a tiny bit of orange. The kind of black ale aroma that I like, with a lovely dark-light balance and contrast. Feels light but smells dark.

Taste is bland and dull. I'm struggling to pull any flavors out of it. Even accounting for the effects of altitude, there's not much to it. It's especially weird, given how pleasant and varied the smell is. It's not bad, but it's nearly flavorless.

Mouthfeel is fine. Light-bodied, plenty of carbonation.

Where's the flavor? The smell is really nice, but the taste doesn't follow it at all. An odd experience.

Aug 12, 2012
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litheum94 from California

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Jun 22, 2012
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Glibber from Idaho

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

May 19, 2013
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BrutalBeerFan from Oregon

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Oct 03, 2012
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho from Washington

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep, dark, rich ruby-brown hue, if not quite black. Head poured a thick finger of fizzy tan foam and dissipated somewhat quickly. Not bad, but not majestic like the style usually implies.

Smell: sweet, chocolatey aroma with a little bit of burnt roastiness thrown in. There's also a bit of vegetal hoppiness toward the end. Smells like a decent porter or maybe even a schwarzbier.

Taste: sweet and malty with a little bit of amber-ale character and a very light yeasty spiciness toward the end. Bitterness is low, as is hop character. It really does remind me of a schwarzbier in a lot of ways.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a very big and well-integrated carbonation; the creamy texture balloons out of this bad boy. Awesome!

Overall: a good beer indeed, although perhaps miscategorized. This is, by simple definition, an "American Black Ale", but it definitely does not fit the old "Cascadian Dark Ale" or "Black IPA" categories which "American Black Ale" implies.

May 06, 2013
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

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.

Apr 20, 2014
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jrohrbacher from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.6%

Aug 04, 2013
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chumba526 from Oregon

4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

It appears brownish black with a mild brown full-bodied head.

It smells quite sweet and fruity. I get a bit of a citrus and slightly sour smell to the beer. There is a very nice vanilla, coffee and chocolate smell. It has a great smell to it.

It tastes slightly sour. There is a mellow coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavor to the ale. I get a bit of a mild caramel flavor. There is a mild fruity aftertaste I get a bit of a raison and citrus flavor. This is a fairly mellow beer. I feel that though the flavor is quite mild that the beer has a great balance to it. It is a very smooth ale.

There is a moderate low carbonation. It has a great silky and smooth carbonation. I am impressed with how great the mouth-feel is in this beer.

The drinkability is pretty good it goes down smooth but it is not that exciting of a beer so I would only order a glass or two of this beer.

Overall a very nice simple ale that has a nice flavor.

Jan 28, 2011
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finger of head, black colored body.
Smell is roasted malt, burnt wood and chocolate with good balance.
Taste has a great roast malt flavor with a little sweet bite.
Fizzy texture. Moderate carbonation and medium body. Slightly sticky.
A pretty good black ale.

Dec 29, 2012
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TheFlern from Idaho

4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Oct 04, 2013
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blackc5 from Washington

3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass at 47F.

A - Quite dark and black, this had a high carbonation head that wasn't going anywhere fast, and minimal lacing.

S - Malts and molasses, some hints of smoke, and just a touch of chocolate.

T - Although generally, this tastes ok, this comes off as a beer that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. It is a VERY dark brown ale, or a weak American porter. I would say it is closer to the latter, but it feels a bit under-flavored and wimply in that regards. The overall flavor is slightly sweet roasted malts with a touch of nuttiness and chocolate.

M - Highly carbonated, medium bodied. Fairly smooth but a bit thin, and not a real standout.

D - ABV is pretty low, and it goes down easy enough. But, I would pass on buying it again. Was expecting a lot more with a name like Sinister (no matter the silly spelling).

Feb 27, 2010
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artoolemomo from Oregon

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.

Jul 25, 2013
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

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.

Jul 03, 2013
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katybee from Oregon

2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I gave this beer highest points for its dark coloration...deepest cola brown, almost opaque, with light tan short-lived head.

Smelled mostly malty, toasted, with a little dry sourness.

Tasted somewhat one-dimensional to me, mostly the slightly bitter toasted malt, very little noticeable sweetness, smokey with flowery greenish hopping.

Seemed a little thin to me, light-bodied with none of the stickiness-on-the-tongue that makes spaten and doppelbocks sippable...Dry and thirst-quenching, but not really memorable.

Jul 30, 2011
Photo of RedBrewer83
RedBrewer83 from Oregon

3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pours a light roasted chocolate color, almost like a very thin porter, nice three finger head forms and falls pretty slow leaving nice lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malt, some faint dark fruit, raisin, very light chocolate, a little bready.

T: Smooth light roasted malt, follows the nose for the most part, just a hint of hop on the finish that seems to crisp things up nicely.

M: Lighter body, very nice carbonation, very smooth going down and a dry finish.

D: This is meant to go down smooth and does so very nicely.

Mar 02, 2010
S1nist0r Black Ale from 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 234 ratings