Ni-ban (Small Beer)
Country Boy Brewing

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Beer Geek Stats:
American Black Ale
Needs more ratings
3.58 | pDev: 3.91%
Country Boy Brewing
Kentucky, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 5
Photo of mrfrancis
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky brown-black with a thin white head.

S: The nose is very neutral, with mild scents of lime, lemon, and roasted grain making their presence known once the beer has settled in the glass.

T: Notes of roasted grain, lemon, lime, blood orange, dark bread, minerals, and caramel flit across the palate. The finish is very short with notes of roasted grain and citrus dominating.

M: Very light in body, firm, dry, and chalky. Carbonation is crisp.

O: This is an interesting American session beer. One can't really compare Ni-ban to British session bitters and small beers in any way. Very much an experimental concoction, this ale would make a nice change of pace for those looking to get off of pale ales and stouts.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed from the second runnings of the stronger Black IPA, Ni-ban celebrates what's best about session beers except with the experimental nature of today's craft beer curriosities.

Dark brown or perhaps "light" black in color, the beer carries a calm demeanor with a short-statured whitish head that resides at the corners of the glass after the initial pour settles. Light on lace, the beer has a much more bold appearance than the beer actaully becomes.

Aromas of citrusy hops, roasty grains and a light caramel underpinning largely define the entire aromatic matrix and does so a simple and moderate fashion. From the beer's small stature, the lighter level of aromatic quality should be expected.

Flavors, as expected, are an extention of aromas. The dry and light malt backbone makes a terse impression that leads the way for citrusy hop flavors to rise very early on the palate and develop into a softly resin-hop bitterness in finish to accompany a slight roasty, toasty malt taste. Very clean in taste, there's no real evidence of fruity esters or spicy phenols- only a grainy/dry malt balance and delicately hop forward.

Very light in body from start to finish, the texture is lightly malt, but the carbonation allows for the slight pang on the palate and creates a greater sense of dryness very early on. The beer goes from intial malt taste to ultra-dry spice in a heartbeat, sharing only the mildest of alcohol warmth, dry roast, and resiny dryness in aftertaste.

Session beers are usually reserved for English style malt-focused ales. It's refreshing to know that American ingredients and brewing techniques can rival that of the British.

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Ni-ban (Small Beer) from Country Boy Brewing
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 5 ratings